Julian Smith hears concerns from hospital staff in Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Secretary Julian Smith met with patients and staff yesterday at Musgrave Park Hospital yesterday to hear concerns about how growing waiting lists are affecting care.
Commenting on Twitter afterwards, he said: "Strain of no Stormont being felt at all levels, from funding to legislative changes. I continue to do all I can to get Stormont back up and running."
During the visit Mr Smith met one man who has been waiting two years for an operation on his knee.
Staff also spoke to him about changes in mental health care in Northern Ireland and the difficulties for the NHS in Northern Ireland created by the lack of legislation being passed after two-and-a-half years without Stormont.
Mr Smith also spent time yesterday meeting with members of the voluntary sector, as well as the Chief Constable Simon Byrne, to hear their views about the problems caused by the absence of devolved government.