Patients have raised concerns over the length of time it is taking for treatment at the Ulster Hospital A&E department.
An East Belfast woman who took her elderly mother to A&E on Tuesday, November 7, with a broken foot said that she was appalled by the length of time patients were waiting to be seen in the department after it took 12 hours to be seen by a doctor.
She says this was the second time in a few weeks where she had been to the A&E and had to wait a long time to be seen, saying that on the previous occasion when she attended she had to wait 16 hours before being seen.
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Speaking to Belfast Live, she said: “My mum suffered a fall at home and I took her to A&E with a suspected broken ankle.
“When we arrived I thought things were going to be ok after we were triaged after one hour, but following this we did not see anyone else for another 12.
“While I understand that the A&E was busy when we first arrived, this quieted down throughout the night but patients were still left waiting to be seen.
“Then when we eventually got to see a doctor, we were on our way home after 20 minutes.
“I was appalled by the length of time that people were waiting and it was very similar to an experience I had a few weeks prior when I had to wait 16 hours to be seen and ended up having to sleep on the floor of the waiting room.”
A South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust spokesperson: “There continues to be pressures across the region in all Emergency Departments.
“The team working in the Emergency Department triages all patients and prioritises those based on their clinical need. This means the most unwell are treated first.
“The Consultant-led Minor Injury Unit at the Ulster Hospital is open daily from 8am – 6.00pm and is staffed by specialist nurses, medical staff and other health care professionals who are able to assess and treat patients of all ages with minor injuries that are not critical or life-threatening.
“Staff in our Trust work with families and patients to support timely discharge from hospital when they are medically fit to leave, so we can care for those who most need our help.”
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