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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Dept of Health pays tribute to staff as Emergency Departments remain under extreme pressure

The Department of Health has issued a statement on Thursday afternoon paying tribute to staff working in Emergency Departments across Northern Ireland.

In a statement, the Department also urged the public to use 'all services responsibly'.

Years of chronic underfunding within Northern Ireland's health service, combined with the impacts of the covid pandemic over the previous two years, and ongoing staffing shortages, have contributed to the crisis currently being experienced.

A spokesperson for the Department of Health stated:

"Emergency Departments across Northern Ireland remain under extreme pressure with significant numbers of frail older people with complex conditions attending.

"We pay tribute to staff who are working tirelessly in extremely difficult conditions. The pressures on services have led to long waits for many patients.

"If you believe your condition is a medical emergency, then a hospital Emergency Department is the right place to attend. Staff will continue to treat the sickest patients quickest, and less urgent cases will have to wait longer.

"Please use all services responsibly and co-operate with hospital discharge processes when you or a family member is well enough to leave.

"If you're unwell, it's important to choose the most appropriate service."

More information on emergency care can be found at the link below:

Average waiting times in the following Emergency Departments at 6pm on Thursday evening (29 December) are:

• Antrim Area ED - 62 minutes

• Causeway Area Hospital ED - 98 minutes

• Royal Victoria Hospital ED - 208 minutes

• Craigavon Area Hospital ED - 411 minutes

• Royal Childrens Hospital ED - 76 minutes

• Lagan Valley Hospital ED - 85 minutes

• Ulster Hospital ED - 175 minutes

Waiting times at emergency departments can change quickly without warning.

For latest waiting time information please visit:


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