Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin, the chair of the Health Committee in the Assembly, said that measures announced today towards improving the RVH A&E are to be welcomed.
However, she said, much more needs to be done to restore public confidence in the health system.
Speaking today Ms McLaughlin said:
“The announcement by the Minister of Health, Edwin Poots, of a number of measures to offset the pressures currently faced by the A&E department in the RVH is to be welcomed. They are long overdue.
“Sinn Féin has previously called for extra staff, a review of procedures to ensure waiting times are reduced and adequate mechanisms to feed patients through to other departments. These measures have been included.
“The appointment of 15 new nurses to the Emergency Department and 25 to the Acute Medical Unit will relieve some of the pressure on staffing levels. “However, the minister still has a huge hill to climb in terms of restoring public confidence in the health system.
“It is unfortunate that the minister did not make this statement to the Assembly.
“If he had done so we would have an opportunity to examine the detail such as are these new staff employed or have they been drafted from an other department. Will there be extra beds opened or why were these measures not put in place before the City, Downe and Lagan Valley A&Es were closed placing inordinate pressures on the RVH.”