Nine people were forced to wait for more than 12 hours for treatment at Craigavon Hospital’s Emergency Department last month while a further 1,330 endured a wait of between four and 12 hours.
A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said: “Recent waiting list statistics again confirmed Craigavon’s Emergency Department as among the busiest and best performing (for its size) in Northern Ireland. Almost 6,400 people attended Craigavon’s Emergency Department in January 2015 which is 500 more people than January 2014. “Despite the extra demands placed on the Emergency Department, the vast majority (79%) of people in January were treated within 4 hours and nearly all of our patients were treated within 6 hours.
“Unfortunately a few people in January waited longer than 12 hours, as a result of the hospital quickly becoming exceptionally busy with seriously ill patients.
“Our staff worked tirelessly to ensure that the Emergency Department is operating in the most effective way possible but we need the public’s help to achieve this. People should only come to the Emergency Department if they have serious and urgent conditions. There are significant numbers of people attending with minor ailments and they are diverting doctors and nurses from the job of dealing with real emergencies. There are other services available like Minor Injuries, GP or GP Out of Hours.”