With waiting times at the Emergency Department averaging at 500 minutes, Craigavon Hospital is said to be in the middle of an ‘ongoing crisis’.
An extremely busy festive period has put serious strain on the hospital’s Emergency Department, leading to an appeal by the Southern Trust for people to only attend if it is an urgent or serious condition.
SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly warned the situation was “unsustainable” and said: “I am deeply concerned over the difficulties and delays patients are having in the accident and emergency department. Pressures had already seen patients have elective surgery cancelled and patients have complained of increased waiting times.
“While I understand the staff are working tirelessly to deliver the highest standard of care, unions and workers have told me that they are struggling to meet the demand.”
A spokesperson for the Trust said staff will prioritise patients with urgent and life threatening conditions.
UUP MLA Doug Beattie said: “There’s a real problem here. People are going to the ED out of frustration because they can’t see their GP in a timely manner. I think the hospital is trying hard and it is the sheer volume of traffic.
“I think there is a whole issue here, the top to bottom health care of this area, from GP services right through to how A&E works.”
A spokesperson for the Southern Health Trust posted on social media: “Our staff have been working extremely hard over the past 10 days to treat patients as soon as possible and we continue to prioritise patients with urgent, life threatening conditions. People attending ED with non-urgent conditions will face a longer wait.”