Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Hospitals elsewhere perform better

A reduction in the number of patients having to wait 12 hours for emergency treatment has taken place across many hospital units in Northern Ireland.

The 12-hour waiting time target for Northern Ireland A&E units was breached more than 700 times between April and June, according to the Department of Health.

The majority of the breaches were at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital and Antrim Area Hospital.

However, in Antrim Area Hospital patients waiting more than half a day in the emergency department dropped from 122 in April to 63 in June.

And no patient waited in excess of 12 hours in the emergency departments of Londonderry's Altnagelvin Hospital, the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen or the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Meanwhile, at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, Craigavon Area Hospital and the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, just one patient had to wait more than 12 hours between April and June.

Ministerial targets state patients should not wait 12 hours or more to be treated.

However, the report also showed that all of Northern Ireland's major emergency departments failed to treat 95% of patients in April, May and June this year within the four-hour waiting target set by Government.

Of the more than 150,000 addentances during the period in all the major hospitals, 737 patients waited longer than 12 hours.

The report, compiled by the Department's Hospital Information Branch, said: "The ministerial target for emergency care waiting times has not been achieved during any of the last three months (April-June 2014)."

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