Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin who is also the chair of the Health Committee has stated that the initiation of ‘escalation measure’ by staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital highlights the pressure that exists within the current health system.
Speaking today Ms McLaughlin said:
“Only last month a major incident was called in the RVH . We now have staff having to initiate “escalation measures” highlighting once again the pressure being placed on staff and resources in the hospital and is damaging public confidence.
“When people hear of a Major Incident or ‘escalation measures’ people automatically think of a serious road crash or a viral outbreak for example. They do not expect the incident to be called for a backlog of bed waits or patients having to wait excessive times for treatment.”
“For the past 18 months we have stated that the current situation is symptomatic of the overall downgrading of A&E’s across our hospitals and the need to address not just the closure of A&E departments but also where these departments feed to within our hospitals.
“The review that the minister has announced must be fast tracked. In the interim he must introduce measures to ensure we do not have a major incident called again in the coming weeks.
“There is a huge onus on the Minister now to build confidence in the system for not just patients but staff also and provide the support needed for them to discharge their duties effectively with greatly reduced pressures.”