30/01/2020

Long Hospital Waits Double In One Year

The number of people left waiting longer than 12 hours in local Emergency Departments has more than doubled in the last year.

Official figures show that a total of 64,872 visits to A&E were made in December 2019.

Of these, some 5,280 people waited over 12 hours, accounting for 8.1% of all attendances throughout the month.

The figure is more than double that of the same period in 2018, when 1,991 people waited over 12 hours.

Government targets state that no patient attending any ED should be left waiting longer than 12 hours and that by March 2020, at least 80% of patients should have commenced treatment, following triage, within two hours.

Health minister Robin Swann said the waiting times are simply not good enough.
News Image
"The people of Northern Ireland deserve better. I have written to the chief executives of each of the Trusts, requesting detailed assessments of the situation," he said.

"We all owe a debt of gratitude to the staff who continue to work through these pressures however we need to fix things for their sake as well as for patients.

"I fully recognise that there are no quick or easy solutions. As with other parts of the health service, sustained investment is required alongside reforms to the way services are delivered."

Areas to be addressed going forward, according to the Minister, include the long waits experienced by increasing amounts of elderly patients and the need for community discharge services to alleviate hospital pressures.

The full statistical bulletin for the last quarter of 2019 can be viewed online.



(JG/CM)

Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

26 June 2006
Major health reform announced for NI
Health Minister Paul Goggins has today announced a major reform of the way health and social care services will be delivered in the future. The main aim is to get as many people cared for in their homes and communities, rather than in hospital beds.
27 August 2021
Over 12% Of NI's Young People Not In Education, Employment And Training
An estimated 24,000 16 to 24-year-olds are currently not in education, employment or training (NEET), according to the latest reports from the Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA). This represents over 12% of NI's young person population, more than 3% higher that the UK average.
27 May 2004
New initiative launched to cut trolley waiting lists
Health service managers from across Northern Ireland today attended a workshop on the development of a regional initiative to reduce trolley waits. The initiative aims to deliver improvements to the way hospitals admit emergency patients, how those patients move through the hospital system and how they are discharged.
17 September 2021
12 Arrests Made In Ongoing Anti-Social Behaviour In The Holylands
A total of 12 people have now been arrested this week during ongoing anti-social behaviour in the Holyland's area of south Belfast. Police have said that large numbers of young people from across the city and further afield have continued to gather in the Holylands on a nightly basis.
19 November 2021
Business Urged People To Make Sure They Use Their Spend Local Cards
Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has highlighted that businesses across Northern Ireland are calling on High Street Scheme cardholders to continue to "spend it now, spend it all and spend it local".