The latest publication of the emergency care waiting times has revealed that the situation has continued to deteriorate..
Councillor McCandless said ” Whilst the target is to treat or admit 95% of attendees within four hours only 69% of patients in September were seen within that time.
This is obviously not acceptable but what makes it alarming is that the Summer / early Autumn months are generally considered to be the quietest time of year for the local Health service. If things are already so bad now, I dread to think what the situation will be like come December and January. ”
” If we had a major outbreak of flu it could have the potential to grind the Health service to a halt. Our Health spokesperson in the Ulster Unionist Party has already spoken to medical professionals and there are indications that this years strain of flu may be more virulent than in previous years. Hospitals across the U.K. have already been placed on high alert after major outbreaks in Australia and New Zealand. ”
” It is often said that how our emergency departments are performing is a barometer for the wider state of the Health service. These continually worsening waiting times would suggest that Northern Ireland could possibly be facing one of its most difficult Winter pressure crises. “