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Newry Politics

McNulty: Protection of Local Emergency Departments ‘Absolutely Critical’ 

SDLP Assembly Member Justin McNulty has praised frontline health workers at Craigavon Area Hospital and across the Southern Trust for their ‘Trojan efforts’ in taking care of, and keeping patients safe all whilst under extreme pressure.

Speaking after Ambulances were diverted away from Craigavon Area Hospital on Sunday evening, except in cases of immediate life-threatening situations, the Newry & Armagh MLA said:

‘The emergency situation at Craigavon this weekend is a stark reminder of the huge pressures on our hospitals and health care workers – on Sunday, there were 108 people in Craigavon’s emergency department – 32 of those required admission to a ward, however there were just three beds were available.

‘On Monday morning, there were 48 patients between Daisy Hill & Craigavon EDs who had been waiting for more than 12 hours to be seen. These are shocking numbers and my heart goes out to patients and families who must be beside themselves with worry.

‘It’s absolutely critical that we do not become resigned to accepting the fact that this is the new normal for our health service. This weekend has again highlighted the need for emergency medicine in the Southern Trust, and it is abundantly clear that need can only be met by fully resourced Emergency Departments at both Craigavon & Daisy Hill. 

‘There needs to be decisive and immediate action to strengthen our Emergency Departments – aside from the demands posed by COVID, the idea that someone in a medical emergency may not have guaranteed access to their local ED is totally unacceptable.

‘The Southern Trust and the Department of Health must reassure the public and frontline health workers that the EDs at both Craigavon & Daisy Hill will be properly resourced and strengthened to be able to cope with the demands placed upon them by the current health crisis and equipped to cope with any further winter pressures.”

ENDS

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