No overnight A&E consultants

Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc
Craigavon Area Hospital. INLM02-110gc

No consultants work at Craigavon’s Accident and Emergency Unit overnight, it has been revealed after latest figures show that there has been a ten percent increase in the number of patients attending the unit.

According to the Southern health trust, Craigavon Area Hospital employs two junior level doctors overnight with a consultant and registrar available on-call.

The number of attendances at the A&E unit, which covers the Dungannon District, has risen from 65,188 in 2007/08 to 71,746 last year.

Top A&E consultant Sean McGovern, vice-chair of the College of Emergency Surgery, said patients could be put at risk with the staffing shortages.

He said emergency departments were operating with about half the required number of consultants.

None of the province’s emergency departments have a consultant working between midnight and 8am, according to figures released to the Irish News.