26/06/2015

A&E Waiting Times Continue To Deteriorate

Only 73.8% of people attending Accident & Emergency departments were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival during 2014/15 despite the target being 95%, according to the latest A&E waiting times.

Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson, Jo-Anne Dobson MLA, said last year's performance was a further deterioration on the year before and demonstrates that the crisis facing hospitals is continuing to deepen.
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She said: "This gridlock is not only bad for our hospitals and staff, but it’s bad for the health of patients. Delays in receiving treatment can often lead to conditions worsening and I am often told by medical practioners that hospitals are not always a safe place for patients if they do not absolutely need to be there.

"It is essential that our A&E departments are operating efficiently, seeing people on time and avoiding unnecessary delays. When A&Es are full or gridlocked it instantly has a knock-on impact on other hospital admissions and ambulance turn-around times.

"Unless the Health Minister is prepared to accept the scale of the problem and recognise that the numbers of emergency medicine specialist staff working in A&E departments remains insufficient, the problem will remain. It is clear that a revised workforce planning structure is required to ensure that every acute hospital maintains safe and sustainable staffing levels."

(CD)

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