Ulster Unionist Health spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has slammed the Health Minister following what he called a ‘night of chaos’ across A&Es in the Belfast Trust Area, particularly in the Ulster and Royal Victoria Hospitals.
Roy Beggs said;
“It is clear from last night’s events, when paramedics had to wait for hours on end with patients that the strain has become too much across the Belfast Trust Area. Paramedics have the vital responsibility of transporting seriously ill people to hospital; they therefore cannot afford to spend exorbitant periods of time sitting in queues in their vehicles or in the corridors of our hospital buildings.’
“The strain which the closure of the A&E department at Belfast City Hospital has placed on neighbouring hospitals is now having a visible knock on affect. Indeed, some of the paramedics have actually come forward to cite the closure at Belfast City Hospital as a factor in the difficult situation they are facing.’
“I tabled an Urgent Oral Question in the Assembly asking the Health Minister for an explanation as to why there were unacceptable delays for our ambulance service across Belfast last night. Unfortunately it was not selected and I have now submitted the question to the Department and I await a written response.’
“The Ulster Unionist Party continually warned against the closure of the A&E Unit in Belfast City until a sufficient bed for bed increase had occurred in neighbouring hospitals to help them cope with the inevitable influx of patients. Unfortunately this did not occur and we are beginning to see the very clear consequences. The events of last night demonstrate why we remain opposed to the potential permanent closure of the A&E services at Belfast City. It is clear that an urgent review needs to be carried out but in the meantime I would urge the Minister to reconsider the decision he and the Belfast Trust took to close the A&E unit at Belfast City.”