Sinn Féin MP for West Belfast Paul Maskey has said that it is unacceptable that up to 40 people remain on trolleys over 12 hours after going to the Accident and Emergency wards of the Royal Victoria and Mater hospitals.
Mr Maskey said,
“The length of time patients presenting themselves to the Accident and Emergency wards is totally unacceptable and the Minister must take full responsibility.
“At the start of the year a major incident had to be declared in the RVH in order to deal with the backlog of patients and the Minister promised us that the service would be improved.
“Despite a Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) inquiry into the incident it is clear that no improvement has been made and the Minister now has major questions to answer.
Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast Carál Ní Chuilín added,
“The medical practitioners at both hospitals have previously expressed their fears for the safety of the patients if something is not done to relieve the pressure yet we are faced with another crisis today.
“It is becoming clear that the crisis within A&E is continuing and despite the Minister's department getting over 50% of the block grant in the budget and £200m in monitoring rounds since taking office it is becoming abundantly clear he has failed to get a grip of his brief.”