Motion: Crisis Conditions at Accident and Emergency Departments
That this Assembly notes with concern the crisis conditions recently experienced by patients and the Accident and Emergency departments in Craigavon Area Hospital and the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast; and calls on the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety to investigate this, and other occurrences where Accident and Emergency departments have been over stretched, with the aim of providing adequate resources to ensure that every patient admitted to hospital is treated in a safe and controlled environment at all times.
Kieran McCarthy MLA said: “There have been on-going and consistent concerns at the challenges being faced by our Accident and Emergency services across Northern Ireland.
“Far too often, we are hearing horror stories of services struggling to function beyond their capacity, people with excessive waits on trolleys and people experiencing very long waits for treatment, in particular over the 12 hour threshold.
“We need to ensure that we direct those who don’t really need to attend Accident and Emergency to make better use of alternatives. In this respect, we should be making better use of Out-Of-Hours GP services and Minor Injury Units, and to ensure that their opening hours coincide with the peak periods of demand for Accident and Emergency.
“I would like to record my gratitude to all the staff in our health service and commend them for their outstanding work despite the conditions. I hope the Health Minister will acknowledge the crisis in our Accident and Emergency units, and respond appropriately.”