Sinn Féin MLA and chairperson of the Health Committee Maeve McLaughlin has said that we need a full report into why a major incident was declared in the Royal Victoria Hospital Accident and Emergency Ward on what should have been a routine evening.
Ms. McLaughlin stated,
“The purpose of a major incident response is to respond to exceptional circumstance like a plane crash, multi vehicle crash or other similar incident when many people need treatment at the one time.
“We now need a full report as to why a major incident response was called to what should have been routine evening in the A&E Department.
“It was warned when the A&E Departments were closed in Belfast City and the Mater that the A&E Department at the Royal was under resourced to cater for the extra number of patients that would present themselves at the Royal Hospital.
“Despite professional advice that these closures would have a major knock on effect on services at the Royal the Minister forced them through.
“Since the closure the A&E Departments in the Mater and City Hospitals the Royal has been working under undue stress and Wednesday’s nights episode was I believe the point where the system collapsed.
“It is obvious that the Minister’s strategy on A&E is in meltdown and lives are being put at risk and he must act now to reassure the public that this major incident response will not become the norm every week.
“The Minister must now clarify the future of A&E services right across the North as we have recently seen the closure of the Downe and Lagan Valley A&E departments at weekends and early evenings adding to the existing stress on Belfast A&E Departments.”