All party approach needed on waiting lists

Alliance Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw has warned that the huge increase in Emergency Department waiting times requires all parties to show they are prepared to make tough decisions around health transformation on behalf of the public.

The South Belfast MLA stated: “The appalling waiting times now experienced at hospital Emergency Departments, sometimes over 24 hours, are unacceptable and a consequence of a political failure to take the tough decisions.

“The huge jump in numbers waiting over 12 hours is a further demonstration of how swift action on transformation to improve the way people access the Health Service is needed.

“Ultimately we will have to deliver a functional service from the resources available to us which means we have to make the whole system vastly more efficient, and get patients to where they need to be in that system faster.

“People using the Health Service have every right to demand much better. For as long as the Minister shows a commitment to the tough decisions required to make transformation a reality and a success, he can rely on our support. However, it will require detailed proposals about how to implement all of the Bengoa recommendations, particularly with regard to how people access the Service in the first place, to be presented and taken forward urgently.”