Accident and Emergency

The Western Trust has two fully staffed accident and emergency departments at Altnagelvin and South West Acute Hospitals and a Nurse-led Minor Injuries Unit at Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex.  These departments are operational 24 hours per day. 

 

The Departments have a reception which you should go directly to when you first arrive to provide your details. Patients are seen as a matter of priority, so sometimes for more minor problems, you may be asked to wait for a while in the waiting area before you are seen to be assessed and / or treatment by a member of the Team.

 

In 2013/14 there were:

  • 58,703 attendances to Altnagelvin A&E Department
  • 30,042 attendances to the South West Acute Hospital A&E Department and
  • 17,537 attendances to the Urgent Care and Treatment Centre at Tyrone County Hospital.


 

Accident Prevention - Trips & Falls with Older People

If you or an older person you know has fallen, you're not alone. The risk of falling, and fall-related problems, rises with age. Last year (2013) we noticed an increase of 11% in Altnagelvin Emergency Department attendances by older people.

Joanne Doherty, Injury Prevention Officer Said: “Although falls can happen anywhere, 79% of all older people’s trauma recorded in Altnagelvin Accident Department last year happened at home. Falls at home often happen while a person is doing normal daily activities. Some of these falls are caused by factors in the house. For instance, reaching in a high cupboard, a wet floor or a poorly lit hallway may lead to a fall.”

The bedroom, garden and living room are the most common locations on the home for unintentional injuries. The causes of injury where largely due to falls from a height or on the same level.

Other factors that can lead to falls at home include:

  • Getting up too quickly once waking
  • loose carpets and mats
  • wet floors
  • clutter on the floor or stairs
  • carrying heavy or bulky things up or down stairs.

Joanne explained: “We know from these statistics that some injuries in the home can prevented. Simple changes can help make your home safer: turn lights on in the bedroom, keep your floor clutter free, ask someone to help you if you’re trying to reach something at a height and wear appropriate footwear outdoors.”

Watch the Home Accident Prevention Northern Ireland DVD - Wise Up...Watch Your Step which features our Acting Medical Director Alan McKinney explaining the effect falls can have on older people and to prevent accidents in the home:

Find out more about accident prevention...