Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Five deaths due to delays at Royal Victoria Hospital 'probably the tip of the iceberg'

Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast
Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast

A doctor who worked in the emergency department of the Royal Victoria Hospital has said that reports of five deaths due to delays is probably the tip of the iceberg.

Dr Jonathon Millar, who left the RVH last year to work in Glasgow Royal Infirmary hospital, said the public would be shocked at safety levels.

He admitted he did not give an appropriate standard of care because the sole focus was "managing the chaos".

Dr Millar was among a group of doctors and consultants who emailed the RVH's executive team about their concerns.

"The priority is always patient safety and trying to ensure that the service you are delivering is safe, and that becomes very difficult in that kind of environment," Dr Millar said.

"I would be the first to admit that on many a night shift or weekend shift that I worked in that department I did not give a standard of care that I thought was appropriate to patients because our sole focus was just managing the chaos and making sure we got through the night without any major incident," he told the BBC.

Further reading

'Crisis of confidence' among A&E staff after care delays result in five deaths at Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital 

Hospital mortality rates defended

Doctor shortage and A&E delays 'contributed to five patients' deaths'

Health Minister Edwin Poots under fire over A&E report

A&E review finds staff shortages

Major incident' at RVH Belfast A&E after backlog of patients

Ambulance in 30-mile dash to ill child because local Downe Hospital A&E unit was closed over weekend

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