32 patients waited more than 12 hours

Altnagelvin Hospital.

Altnagelvin Hospital.

32 patients waited more than 12 hours to be seen at their accident and emergency departments during the month of January, the Western Trust has revealed.

Six of these breaches of the Ministerial Standard occurred on one day, Monday January 11th at Altnagelvin Hospital.

The figures were revealed by Director of Performance & Service Improvement, Teresa Molloy, at the monthly meeting of the Western Trust.

“Mondays and Tuesdays tend to be highly pressurised days,” said Mrs Molloy.

Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Services, said that both Altnagelvin Hospital and the South West Acute Hospital had seen a huge increase in demand for services. In Altnagelvin admissions are up by 8 per cent, equating to 180 more patients.

Ms. Molloy revealed that the number of people using the GP out of hours service had also seen an increase of 7 per cent, attendances by adults at ED is up by 12 per cent and paediatric attendances at the emergency department have increased by 28 per cent. Non executive Trust Board member Mary Woods asked why there was such an increase in paediatric attendances and was told it was because of “respiratory conditions.”

Board members were also told that there are now 248 children breaching the 13 week target for Autism assessment after referral.

Kieran Downey, director of Women and Children’s services welcomed a recent Health Department announcement of £3m to meet the needs of Autism along which he said could help get these numbers down.