HSE severe weather statement - 28th Feb 2018

The HSE has today acknowledged the commitment and resilience of all our staff in maintaining our health and social care services in those areas affected by the severe weather.

The HSE’s National Crisis Management Team was activated on Monday to ensure the organisation was as prepared as possible to manage our services over the coming days and to ensure we are overseeing our response on an ongoing basis. Preparatory work had already been ongoing from last week when it became apparent that there was a significant risk of a severe weather event. The HSE National Crisis Management Team supports the local Area Crisis Management teams around the country who are working  diligently to keep services operating and dealing with the various challenges around the severe weather.

At the Government’s National Emergency Committee meeting this morning it was clarified that the warnings and best advice 36 hours out for Thursday and Friday is as follows:

  • Red Warning for Munster and Leinster with additional precautions between 4pm on Thursday and 12pm on Friday
  • Orange warning for Connacht and Ulster.

This morning a decision was made that only essential public services would operate on Thursday and Friday in the areas where a red warning exists, ie Munster and Leinster. In light of this, our Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations will prioritise critical services and other services will not operate over those two days. For our hospitals this will mean cancellation of non-urgent outpatients and most elective work. Other non-essential services in Munster and Leinster will not operate over Thursday and Friday and the National Directors in those divisions will advise their staff on which services are essential over this period.

In Connacht and Ulster where an orange warning exists we anticipate some difficulties for both staff and patients in getting to work and appointments. Our local service managers in those areas will make decisions based on the prevailing weather.

We are endeavouring to ensure that where appointments, clinics and certain services are cancelled and postponed that our staff contact those affected directly. However, if anyone is due to attend at an appointment in the affected areas over the next two days they should ring in advance and check that it is still going ahead.

We are advising the public to access our communications channels to get the most up to date information – www.hse.ie/weatherwarning and @HSELive #weatherwarning on Twitter for all the latest regarding HSE services.

We would also stress that our Hospital Groups and Community Health Organisations are continuing to communicate directly at a local level both through local media outlets and through the above digital and social media channels.

We are continuing to do everything possible to maintain all essential services, particularly services to vulnerable people at home in the community. We are appealing to people to check that they are stocked up with any medicines and health care supplies they may need this week. Remember you may not be able to get to a pharmacy if conditions are poor.

Where it is safe to do so, we are asking people to consider checking in on elderly or vulnerable members of the community, and to make sure they have supplies of food, fuel, water and medicines.

Go to weather warning updates page

Last updated on: 28 / 02 / 2018