Almost a third of all patients who sought medical help at Craigavon A&E since last August, were forced to wait over four hours for treatment.
This means, the facility has failed to meet the health minister’s own target that “95% of patients should be treated and discharged home, or admitted, within 4 hours”.
The 5,455 (27.5%) patients who presented themselves at the emergency department at Craigavon between August and September 2013, were not treated or transferred to a bed within the target time.
And a staggering 5,455 (9.5%) were dealt with after six hours, while 1,899 (3.22%) had to hang around for eight hours and 365 (1.2%) of those treated faced ten hours in a waiting room before they were helped.
The minister’s own targets also stated that no-one should have to wait more than 12 hours for treatment, but at Craigavon, three patients were put in that very situation.
Craigavon A&E, which dealt with 21,911 patients during the last six months of last year, was also outperformed by the only other A&E in the Southern Trust — Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.
Although, having treated just over 80% of their 14,986 patients within the same time-frame, also puts them far below ministerial targets.
On this ongoing issue, a spokesman from the Department of Health said: “With regard to the 4-hour target, the department recognises that some emergency departments are struggling to meet the target.
“This is particularly true of the larger emergency departments like Craigavon Area Hospital.
“The Minister is looking to the Health and Social Care Board and trusts to improve performance against the 4-hour target.
“Provisional figures for January 2014 show that 75% of patients at Craigavon Area Hospital ED were seen within 4 hours and no-one waited longer than 12 hours.”