Emergency Departments at Craigavon Hospital and Daisy Hill in Newry 'both vital' to the Southern Trust area says SDLP
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Newry and Armagh MLA Justine McNulty was speaking after a visit to Craigavon Area Hospital with SDLP Portadown Councillor Eamon McNeill.
Mr McNulty said: “Once again, I was deeply inspired by the resilience of everyone I came in to contact with in Craigavon Emergency Department. I just wish that their resilience wasn’t tested so often. Everyone has a breaking point.
“There are massive pressures on our doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, porters, paramedics and support & clerical staff. It is incredible that they are able to keep going. One thing is abundantly clear to me: patients demand cannot be met solely on one hospital site, and this is why both Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital need fully resourced Type-1 Acute Emergency Departments.
“Patients and their families are experiencing frightening waiting times in Eds and in the back of ambulances sometimes for up to 10 or 12hrs. This week in the UK the news reported startling waiting times of 30mins in ambulances at some hospital EDs. It is very very concerning that far longer waiting times in the back of ambulances at Craigavon or Daisy Hill seems to be acceptable.
“The fact that we have no Executive at a time of such unprecedented crisis in our health service is absolutely scandalous. We need to see an immediate resumption of the institutions at Stormont so that our health service gets the funding and leadership necessary to meet the needs of the public, who work hard and pay their taxes and deserve better.
"A restored Executive is what our health service staff require, it is what patients deserve, and it is what the public demand.”
Clr. Eamon McNeill added: “What we are seeing is Craigavon Area Hospital catchment growing with the closure of South Tyrone and now Daisy Hill and South West Area Hospitals’ emergency surgery withdrawals. The ED at Craigavon is bursting at the seams with hospital staff worked off their feet and allied to that there are huge additional demands put on already overburdened ambulance teams. The current pressure on the ED at Craigavon Are Hospital is just not sustainable.”
A spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust said: ““We all want health and social care services capable of providing timely care to everyone who needs it when they need it. With the resources currently available to us, we are finding it increasingly difficult to deliver the health and social care system needed to meet all the increasing demands of our population.
"There continues to be high numbers of patients attending our Emergency Departments on an ongoing basis and many are waiting a very long time to be admitted to and discharged from a hospital ward. Ambulances are also waiting outside hospitals for extended periods due to pressures within the hospitals. We are facing particular ongoing challenges in admitting patients and managing these pressures is a huge ongoing daily challenge for our exhausted staff.
"This is not the level of care that the public expects or that any of us wants to provide but we can assure the public that those of us working in health and social care remain hugely committed to doing the best we can for patients.”