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Are A&E delays affecting Ambulance response times? - Beggs

The Ulster Unionist Party’s East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs has expressed his concerns at the latest Accident & Emergency waiting time statistics.

Mr Beggs, who is his Party’s Health spokesperson, said;

“It is very concerning to see the number of people treated, discharged or admitted within 4 hours of arrival has decreased to 78.5% in 2012/13, from 80.2%in 2011/12 and 88.8% in 2008/09.

This is a clear indication that things are getting worse in our A&E units.

I am also concerned at the figures regarding response times to “immediately life threatening” calls by the Ambulance Service. The number responded to within 8 minutes has decreased by 4.4 percentage points from, 72.7% in 2011/12 to 68.3% in 2012/13.

I would be concerned that Ambulance response times are being affected by the delay in admitting some patients to A&E Units, because on many occasions where a person has been brought to A&E by ambulance, the Ambulance crew have to stay with the patient until they can be admitted.

If this link can be established, it would mean that lives are being placed at risk due to the inability to address the problems caused by waiting times in A&E. It is more important than ever that the Health Minister addresses this issue as a matter of extreme urgency.”

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