Delays in admissions at University Hospital Galway as visiting restrictions remain in place

The HSE says that only essential visiting can take place while the restrictions are in place over an outbreak of Norovirus

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Visiting restrictions have been implemented in University Hospital Galway this morning as the hospital struggles to curb a vomiting bug and overcrowding.

Significant numbers of patients are awaiting admission to the Emergency Department and a number of wards have also been closed due to the presence of the Norovirus.

The HSE says that only essential visiting can take place during this period in order to assist staff in preventing the spread of the virus.

Fergal Hickey is the Communications Officer with the Irish Association of Emergency Medicine told Newstalk Breakfast that "clearly there will be patients who are in the 'end of life' phase, who are dying or patients in critical care areas that special arrangements may well need to be made for their very close visitors".

He adds that while those situations are understandable, such arrangements will be made in negotiation with those in charge of the wards and routine visits will not be allowed.

"It's important that would-be visitors realise that this is being done to protect patients and indeed the visitor's themselves from getting this condition," he explained.