Stressed staff are 'run off their feet'

Thursday, 3 May 2018

Stressed staff are 'run off their feet' thumbnail

MORE than 600 patients had to wait longer than 12 hours at the Causeway Hospital, according to "frightening" new figures.
Department of Health statistics show that last month  only 66.2 per  cent of almost 4,000 attendees at the Coleraine emergency department were treated, discharged or admitted within four hours of arrival. The Government target is 95 per cent.
Province-wide the number of patients waiting for longer than 12 hours jumped by more than 200 per cent from last year - from 3,115 in January to March 2017, to 9,567 in the same period this year.
The statistics are included in a bulletin on waiting times published by the Department of Health, which covers the first quarter of 2018.
Causeway Coast and Glens UUP Councillor William McCandless described them   as "frightening."
He added: "They do not make for pleasant reading. Recently I had a relative who had to be admitted to the Causeway, we went in at around 5pm and fortunately he was admitted to the ward at around 11.30pm.
“The care which he received was fantastic, certainly second to none. The staff were extremely attentive to his every need but they were literally run off their feet They are hard working and industrious and I witnessed them still giving of their best as they battled through their shifts and witnessed what they had to cope with.
“I had another relative admitted to hospital two days earlier, again she received the best treatment available.
“After studying the recent statistics the only word to describe the scale and pace of the deteriorating situation of the NHS is " frightening.
“I commend the frontline staff who are delivering emergency assessment and treatment. However a recent survey highlighted that staff are working under huge stress and that the overall system is simply not meeting expectations.
“This is not a temporary blip, our Health Service is in the midst of its worst ever crisis and it is getting worse with every passing day. People are coming to harm because they can't get the right type of treatment when they need it.
“Those who can afford it are paying for treatments and procedures privately, sadly those who can't are being forced to suffer enduring  pain and discomfort. We must not accept that this has become the new normal for the local health service.
“We need to be doing better, the community deserve better and certainly the NHS staff deserve better."
A Northern Trust spokesperson  said: "Emergency Departments in our two acute hospitals have experienced a very challenging winter, as has been the case in hospitals across the UK and Ireland.
“The length of time that many people have had to wait is unacceptable and we apologise for this. The pressures are in part due to the increasingly complex needs of patients who require hospital admission, and the subsequent challenges in supporting them to return home when they are medically fit. The entire HSC is working collaboratively and is investing in a range of innovative services which will help prevent some people from attending EDs in the first place, developing safe alternatives to admission, improving the patient journey through the hospital and providing timely support for patients to discharge.
“Our core focus is to assist people in avoiding hospital in the first place through helping them stay well. We are also working hard to ensure that where admission is required, patients move quickly and safely through the hospital system and back into the community. To that end, we have recently implemented a new Site Coordination Model in Causeway which aims to improve patient flow. Early indications are that it is working well."


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