'Extraordinary pressure' at A&E with patient waiting four days for bed

Altnagelvin A&E in Derry is under 'extraordinary pressure' this afternoon with one patient waiting in the department for four days for an inpatient bed, the Western Trust has said.

The hospital is currently operating at capacity.

Dr. Sandy Nelson, an A&E consultant, said one patient has been waiting in A&E for days.

"We are currently under extraordinary pressure and I'd ask you for your help and patience at this time.


"At the moment I've got 84 patients in the Emergency Department - 34 of them are awaiting a bed. One of those patients has been waiting four days for an inpatient bed.

"I've got patients that are sitting on corridors on chairs for 24 hours before we can physically put them in a bed for them to have a lie down. In these circumstances we are all under extreme pressure and there's a few things you can do to help us," said Dr. Nelson.

The Trust has asked people only to attend if absolutely necessary. However, anyone who has an emergency should still attend.

"Please do only attend if it is an emergency and you have no other option," said Dr. Nelson. "We will see patients with true medical emergencies and psychological emergencies as soon as we can but if you could help us by only attending by yourself and being patient with out staff and giving them the respect they deserve that would be extremely helpful."

The Trust says patients with a life-threatening, medical or mental health emergency, should call 999 immediately or proceed straight to their nearest Emergency Department.

If they have an urgent, non-emergency medical situation, patients are asked to utilise the Phone First service on 0300 020 6000.