‘Transformation needed to address waiting times’ - Sheehan
Emergency department waiting times can only be addressed through transformation of the health service, Sinn Féin Spokesperson for Health Pat Sheehan MLA has said.
Commenting following the release of emergency care waiting time statistics today, the West Belfast MLA said: "It is unacceptable that patients have been facing excessive waiting times in Emergency Departments.
"Staff shortages as well as increased demand on services have contributed to this situation and emergency departments faced particular pressure on services over the October to December period.
"I have met separately with the Royal Colleges of Nursing and Emergency Medicine in recent weeks and here is no doubt that, despite the pressures, Health and Social Care staff continued to deliver high quality care to the community in very challenging circumstances.
"However this is not sustainable.
"A workforce plans need to address existing staff shortages through retention and recruitment in the short term.
"The pressure on Emergency Departments and elsewhere in the system must be addressed through the transformation envisaged in Michelle O'Neill's Delivering Together plan."