Patients facing lengthy delays in SWAH emergency

Patients were faced with lengthy waiting times and delays in admission as pressure mounted at the Emergency Department at the South West Acute Hospital over the weekend.
It is believed that approximately 18 patients had been waiting on trolleys overnight on Monday 11 February. The Herald had asked the Trust to confirm how many patients were on trolleys overnight at SWAH on Monday, however, a figure was not confirmed.
The Western Health and Social Care Trust did confirm that during the weekend of the 10th and 11th February there were a high number of attendances at the SWAH ED.
Commenting on the situation at SWAH Emergency Department Geraldine McKay, Western Trust Director of Acute Hospitals said that there were a high number of attendances at the SWAH ED which resulted in a number of patients requiring admission.
“Whilst we did not have beds available immediately on the inpatient Wards patients were cared for overnight in the Emergency Department. The SWAH emergency department is a purpose build modern department with a number of cubicles which can accommodate a hospital bed. In times of high pressure and when patients are waiting longer than the standard time the Emergency trolleys are replaced with hospital beds.”
Ms McKay added that staff continue to work very hard to ensure all patients are treated in a timely manner. “Some people who attend the Emergency Department may be required to wait longer than we would like and we sincerely apologise for this. Winter resilience plans are in place as we continue to experience additional pressures during this period.
“We continuously encourage the Public to utilise all available community services and to only attend the Emergency Department when absolutely necessary.”

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