Over 2,000 Altnagelvin A&E attendances in September required ‘immediate’ or ‘very urgent’ treatment

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Over 2,000 people who attended Altnagelvin A&E in September were triaged as requiring ‘immediate’ or ‘very urgent’ treatment, a new Department of Health report has shown.

In total 5,586 people attended the Altnagelvin Emergency Department (ED) in September making it the fifth busiest A&E in the north during that month.

Only in the Ulster (8,800), the Royal Victoria (6,829), the Antrim Area (7,990) and the Craigavon Area (6,806) hospitals were there more attendances.

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New data published by the Department of Health show that a higher proportion of attendees at the Altnagelvin A&E required ‘very urgent’ treatment than in other areas.


“During September 2022, over a third (36%) of patients attending Altnagelvin Area were triaged at level 1/2, compared with 16.1 per cent of those attending Antrim Area,” the urgent and emergency care waiting time report for the period July to September shows.

This means that 2010.96 of patients attending Altnagelvin in September required urgent treatment.

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A patient triaged at red level 1 is deemed to require ‘immediate’ treatment within zero minutes while a patient triaged at orange level 2 is classed as ‘very urgent’ and should be treated within ten minutes.

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Fifty three point nine per cent of patients commenced treatment, following triage, within two hours of attending the Altnagelvin ED in September. This was up from 42 per cent in September 2021.

The median time spent in A&E from triage to the start of treatment by a medical professional at Altnagelvin was 1 hour 48 minutes in September. The median time for the north as a whole was 1 hour 26 minutes.

Ninety five per cent of attendances at Altnagelvin A&E commenced treatment within 5 hours 53 minutes of being triaged.

The median time spent in A&E for patients who were eventually admitted to the Derry hospital was 18 hours 57 minutes. Ninety five per cent of patients were admitted within 44 hours 9 minutes.

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Across the north as a whole 62,839 patients in total attended an ED in September 2022 and 11,093 attended PhoneFirst/Urgent Care Centre services without further referral to an ED; a total of 73,932 patients attending all urgent and emergency care services.