Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Trust apologises for ‘unacceptable’ 3 day wait for hospital admission

The elderly woman was taken by ambulance to the Emergency Department on Saturday evening last (13th January) suffering with pneumonia.  Despite the seriousness of her condition, she had to be cared for in a busy side area of the Emergency Department for 67 hours until a bed became available for her at lunchtime on Tuesday.

The pensioner’s family said her ordeal was “horrendous” but insisted their anger is directed at the government for the current impasse at Stormont and not towards medical staff.

In a statement to the BBC, the family said,

“This crisis is a direct result of our lack of government and we would urge all politicians to get a government running again as soon as possible.”

The Commissioner for Older People, Eddie Lynch said the case was “unacceptable” and added that lessons needed to be learned from it.

A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said hospitals across the north experienced “significant pressure” over the weekend in question with high numbers of very sick patients needing admission.

“We apologise to this family that their experience of our service is clearly not what we would wish and we appreciate their praise for our dedicated staff,” said the spokesperson.

“Unfortunately, due to significant pressure on our hospitals last weekend and high numbers of very ill patients requiring admission, we had to care for this patient in the Emergency Department until a bed on a Ward became available.

“We would however wish to assure those using our service that our staff are working exceptionally hard to continue to provide the highest standards of care in very challenging circumstances.”