THE recent problems with A&E at the Royal Victoria Hospital have, very likely, complex systemic and even society-wide causes.
However, our family's experience of A&E throws some light on one problem that had nothing to do with delay, or quality of treatment.
My father was recently taken acutely ill and taken to out-of-hours. We saw a very experienced GP, who stated that he needed to be admitted to hospital for IV antibiotic treatment.
We headed to the Royal casualty with a GP letter. At 11pm, we were seen by a triage nurse. She agreed he needed to be admitted. We then saw a junior doctor who ordered further tests and an X-ray.
Finally, after being moved to Outcomes, my father was seen by another doctor at 4am, who also said he would be admitted.
Four medical people who all came to the same conclusion. Surely, the best way to avoid A&E is to allow direct GP admissions?
Hillsborough, Co Down