Seriously ill elderly man waited over seven hours in casualty queue
A LOCAL Councillor has described how his seriously ill father had to wait for over seven hours in a cubicle at Craigavon’s Accident and Emergency unit before a hospital bed became available.
SDLP representative Anthony McGonnell has called for an overhaul of local A&E provision and more resources to be pumped into the hospital to meet increasing demand.
He was speaking after it was revealed there had been an 180% increase in the number of patients having to wait more than four hours for treatment at the local A&E department.
“My elderly father suffered a stroke and was rushed to casualty at Craigavon”, he said.
“However, he had to endure a wait in a cubicle from about 11am to 6.30pm before a hospital bed became available.
“This is a clear sign of a system that is overwhelmed and in severe need of an overhaul.”
He also recounted how on another occasion an out-of-hours GP sent his ill mother to casualty on a Friday night.
“The place was so noisy and distressing for my elderly mother that we gave up and left at about 2.30am after a three-hour wait”, he said.
“The number of patients turning up drunk and abusive with injuries at weekends is a major problem, and one that needs to be urgently addressed.
“They are driving away other patients equally in need of care.
“The system is unable to cope with these sort of pressures.”
Councillor McGonnell stressed that the care his father and mother have received has been ‘second to none’ and praised the professionalism and caring approach of staff.
“It is clear to me that staff are being run off their feet. More nurses and doctors should be employed to lessen the workload. Also, spending cuts should be focused on middle managers and administrators.”
He also said that it was no coincidence that waiting times had significantly increased since the closure of the Mid-Ulster’s A&E department.
“Staff are doing all that they can in the face of insurmountable odds. They and their patients are paying the price for health cuts and the closure of other A&E units.”
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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