The HSE National Crisis Management Team met today to review all planning and preparations for the severe cold weather over the coming days as the entire country changes to a red warning.
As previously advised the HSE Winter Plan is already in place and continues to be implemented and as such our services are at a heightened level of preparedness throughout the winter months. However, the HSE would stress that at a local and national level our services are being impacted due to the severity of the weather conditions. For this reason the HSE is asking members of the public to consider the following:
- Due to the deteriorating weather conditions, our National Ambulance Service is prioritising emergency calls. We are asking people to consider if they have an absolute emergency situation before calling for an ambulance. If you do need to call an ambulance please know or have your Eircode to hand.
- The HSE has cancelled all outpatient appointments and non-urgent surgeries planned for Thursday 1st March and Friday 2nd March. There is no need for patients to contact their hospital. Hospitals will be in touch over the coming weeks to reschedule their appointments. Patients who are scheduled for urgent surgery over these two days will be contacted by their hospital.
- 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.
- Our advice to older people is to stay indoors and to keep at least one room heated to 18 degrees. Wear multiple layers of clothes, have plenty of blankets and socks to keep you warm. Make sure you eat well and keep active and be mindful of risk of slips, trips and falls. If you have a personal alarm, make sure you wear it at all times. Read information on falls prevention.
- The GP Out of Hours service is operational but will face challenges in going to see people in their own homes. We are asking people to bear this in mind if they need to call a GP to their home. There will be delays due to the severe weather conditions.
- 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.
Our health service functions because of our highly trained, dedicated, professional staff. The commitment and dedication of our health service staff to maintaining health services during the current severe weather episode is greatly acknowledged and appreciated. It is at times like this that the true value of public service comes to the fore and the work of so many unsung heroes across the entire health service becomes even more evident.
Go to weather warning updates page
Last updated on: 01 / 03 / 2018