The quantity of folks waiting longer than 12 hours in Northern Ireland’s emergency departments over Christmas greater than tripled in comparison with the earlier yr.
In an unprecedented transfer, well being bosses have launched complete figures exhibiting the 12-hour waits in casualty items between December 20 final yr and January three.
The Health & Social Care Board (HSCB) statistics additionally included figures from the identical interval the earlier yr, which highlighted a startling spike in the quantity of 12-hour emergency division (ED) breaches.
According to the figures, the quantity of individuals who waited greater than 12 hours over the two-week interval elevated from 723 to 2,435.
This represents a 237% rise from final yr to this, and a median of 173 folks waiting on trolleys on daily basis all through the Christmas fortnight.
Most alarmingly, whereas the quantity of 12-hour breaches have rocketed, the quantity of folks attending EDs over the two-week interval in comparison with the identical time final yr was down by eight%.
However, the HSCB stated there had been a 7% enhance in the quantity of patients aged over 65 in essentially the most pressing classes. The figures have been launched forward of at present’s strike motion by the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and Unison.
Pat Cullen, director of the RCN in Northern Ireland, stated: “It is with nice dismay that nursing employees start the third day of strike motion to deal with unsafe staffing and ship pay parity again to Northern Ireland.
“Nurses don’t wish to be standing once more on picket strains, dropping one other day’s pay, and really feel completely let down that they’ve been put in this place but once more. Our members are completely decided to combat for a well being service that patients in Northern Ireland deserve.
“Nurses have shown courage and resilience during this dispute and will continue to do so until we can achieve a system that is fit for purpose.”
Ms Cullen stated the RCN wouldn’t postpone the strike motion with out written affirmation that the necessities for full funding for pay parity and secure staffing can be met.
She stated the following scheduled dates for strike motion have been January 20, 22 and 24.
And she reiterated requires the political events to behave to deal with the disaster.
Thousands of nurses, ward clerks, home employees, porters and different healthcare employees will stage strike motion throughout Northern Ireland at present.
The second day of strike motion this week is predicted to trigger widespread disruption, with greater than 1,800 outpatient appointments and 205 day case and surgical procedures cancelled.
A quantity of particular faculties are closed, whereas some transport companies can be affected.
Health bosses have warned there can be a knock-on impact on emergency departments, notably as a quantity of minor harm items are closed.
Appointments in GP surgical procedure therapy rooms have been cancelled and a few college and child immunisation programmes have been affected.
Test outcomes may be delayed, whereas the Ambulance Service has warned it expects turnaround occasions for paramedic crews to be affected by the strike motion at present. Publishing the figures forward of at present’s strike motion, the HSCB apologised for the delays being skilled by patients in search of emergency therapy.
The statistics confirmed that, of the 1,714 further 12-hour breaches this yr, 1,052 have been aged 65 or over.
The Belfast Telegraph has highlighted a quantity of instances in current weeks of significantly unwell pensioners spending as much as two days on trolleys as there have been no beds obtainable in the hospital.
Across the area, for the 15-day interval, the common waiting time for these to be seen, handled however not admitted was three hours and 30 minutes.
However, the common waiting time to be admitted to a hospital mattress was 11 hours and 45 minutes.
An HSCB spokesman stated: “The figures present that, much like different elements of the UK and Ireland, well being and social care companies in Northern Ireland have and proceed to be beneath sustained stress over the vacation interval. We would pay tribute to our employees who’re working tirelessly to make sure that patients obtain the care that they want.
“Health service organisations have repeatedly made it clear that the 2019/20 winter interval would once more carry critical challenges. Despite the plans in place, some patients have needed to await unacceptably lengthy durations in emergency departments – for that we sincerely apologise.
“The challenges are in half attributable to a rise in older, sicker patients attending EDs.
“These patients will usually require longer in-patient stays after which extra complicated social care packages when they’re prepared to go away hospital.
“The well documented workforce shortages, as well as the impact of flu and the norovirus have also compounded the pressures. All health and social care organisations will continue to work closely to ensure that the most urgent and sickest patients are prioritised.”
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