‘A&E like a battlefield with blood everywhere’.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

A PATIENT admitted to hospital at the height of the crisis likened conditions within the Emergency Department to "a battlefield".

Glyn Hanna from Ballymartin, a Mournes DUP councillor, says there was "blood everywhere" in Daisy Hill Hospital Emergency Department waiting area.

He described a scene of chaos but couldn't "praise staff enough" remarking that they were subjected to "horrendous treatment" by people waiting to be seen.

Councillor Hanna experienced first hand the pressures faced by Southern Trust staff in Daisy Hill Hospital where he was a patient and later in Craigavon Area Hospital while visiting his father over the Christmas period.

Councillor Hanna took ill on Boxing Night with severe pain from a gallbladder 'flare up' and remained in hospital until Saturday, 30 December.

He experienced both the GP out-of-hours doctor service as well as the emergency department (ED).

"I took the pain just after midnight and rang the out-of-hours doctor around 3.30am, the lady that answered told me a doctor would ring me back.

"Five minutes later I got a call from the doctor who advised me to go to A&E which I did.

"I had no issues with the out of hours doctor, perhaps because I rang in the middle of the night.

"When I arrived at A&E it was like a battlefield with blood everywhere and was just full of people.

"I cannot praise the staff at Daisy Hill Emergency Department enough as it was so busy and the behaviour of others waiting in A&E was a disgrace, their treatment of the nurses was hor rendous.

"I know A&E throughout Northern Ireland has been under severe pressure and just managing but I don't think throwing money at this is the answer. "

Councillor Hanna believes that the public could be doing more to ease the pressure on services: "People are going to Emergency Departments with problems that a GP should deal with, or a minor problem that a chemist could give a prescription for."

They are not forward planning and running out of medication over the holiday period and then going to A&E for tablets and not their chemist. This all blocks A&E plus increases waiting times for everyone."

Councillor Hanna's father was admitted to Craigavon Area Hospital over New Year's weekend and he said he was "shocked" to see the waiting area in ED packed with people queuing out into the main entrance.

"People were lying on the floor looking very poorly and ill.

I am frightened of what will happen to the service as all over Christmas it was stretched to breaking point and just about managed.

"When you see the hospitals looking for staff to come in via social media it beggars belief what will happen next.

"The Southern Trust has experienced nearly a breakdown which is still not over as we have two very cold months to come. It is totally wrong to have to wait up to 34 hours for a call to be returned from out-of-hours doctors and to have to wait up to 24 hours on trolleys in A&E then sit for hours waiting to be seen.

"If we had a Minister at Stormont, it would sort out the NHS in Northern Ireland and a complete restructure to make services fit for purpose in the 21st century.

If no one else can do anything then I will be calling on the Secretary of State, to act before the NHS collapses under winter pressure."


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