Belfast Telegraph

Grandfather lay on trolley at Royal Victoria Hospital A&E for seven hours covered in blood, says family

By Rebecca Black

The granddaughter of an 86-year-old man who died in the Emergency Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital said she is heartbroken at the idea he lay on a trolley for seven hours feeling confused and covered in blood.

Grainne Boyle told a BBC Spotlight programme last night that waiting times at the A&E may have been a contributory factor in the death of her grandfather Charlie Patterson who had fallen and hit his head in January 2013.

"For someone who was so loved, I find that hard to reconcile," she said. There is an investigation under way into five deaths in which delays in treating the patients may have been a contributory factor in their deaths.

The Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) review is due to report in April.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said no other families have yet to be informed.

"As I understand there isn't any, but if that isn't the case then we will be making it very clear that they should be informed immediately," he said.

Mr Poots was asked to respond to claims that people are losing confidence in the system.

"The consultants along with nursing staff in the Emergency Department at the Royal believe they are providing a safe service albeit under a lot of pressure. They want to get a message out that they are providing a safe service," said Mr Poots.

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