St John of God Hospital is experiencing an increase in admissions of non-coronavirus patients - but with conditions driven by the Covid-19 pandemic.
These include mood and anxiety disorders, addictions and issues relating to social isolation. As a result, the hospital has welcomed a statement from Mental Health Reform calling on Government to begin planning for a surge in demand.
The hospital says that in the past month alone, 50% of admissions to the hospital have been related to Covid-19 anxiety and restrictions.
“The hospital has seen a dramatic increase in admissions from new and existing patients who are struggling with mood and anxiety disorders, addictions and issues relating to severe social isolation,” a spokesperson said.
“Acute work-related stress has also seen a number of healthcare workers being admitted to the hospital.”
Chief Executive of the Hospital, Emma Balmaine said: “We have already seen a significant increase in admissions relating to intense pressure that COVID-19 restrictions are placing on people.
We are anticipating the increase will continue in the weeks and months ahead as the immediate crisis begins to stabilise and the country begins to reopen.
“Current admission patterns suggest those who have long-standing mental health issues may need increased support at this time, but we are also seeing a lot of new referrals from people experiencing mental health challenges as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
“Additional planning will need to be done in order to prepare for the surge in demand for mental health services from within the hospital and at Government level.”
Meanwhile, the number of Covid-19 clusters in meat processing plants has more than doubled in the space of a month.
According to the Department of Agriculture, there have been 12 Covid-19 clusters in meat processing plants that have been notified to public health officials.
“There 571 laboratory-confirmed cases linked to these outbreaks, and 12 cases hospitalised,” a spokesperson said.
In April Agriculture Minister Michael Creed told the Dáil he was aware of six clusters - five in processing plants and one in a deboning plant - and the health of workers was of primary concern.