Full capacity protocol deployed 318 days at Letterkenny University Hospital in 2018- Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn
Donegal Sinn Féin Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has confirmed that the crisis management, full capacity protocol was deployed for 318 days last year at Letterkenny University Hospital (LUH), up from 242 days in 2017.

Senator Mac Lochlainn said:

“The Full capacity protocol is a hospital’s highest level measure for dealing with emergency department overcrowding.

In essence, it is supposed to be the last stage of escalation under a national framework issued in 2015 to hospitals to deal with overcrowding, meaning that in a properly functioning health service it should be implemented only in exceptional circumstances. Yet, according to figures released to my party, the mechanism was deployed a total of 318 times at Letterkenny University Hospital last year.
This is utterly unacceptable and a signal of a health service beyond crisis point, for patients and staff”.
“When the full capacity protocol is invoked, much of the normal activity of the hospital is suspended, additional patients are moved onto wards and corridors, while often times elective surgeries at the hospital can be cancelled. A number of consultants at LUH have outlined because of the full capacity protocol being deployed continuously that electives surgeries are being seriously curtaIled.
The situation puts huge pressure on patients and their families and it puts huge pressure on staff at LUH.
The addressing of the staffing and capacity crisis in the hospital is moving at a snail’s pace, despite this being a ongoing serious crisis. 2019 must see the full reopening of the 20 bed Short Stay Ward with a full additional compliment of staff to release the pressure on the Emergency Department and knock on pressure to the services across the hospital”.

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Now editorial team. Between 9am and 5pm Monday to Sunday please call 074 9112712. Between 5pm and midnight please call or text 086 792 2103. Or you can email [email protected] at any time.