Lochside Garage

Patients facing lengthy wait at hospital A&E

Patients visiting A&E at the South West Acute Hospital have come up against lengthy waiting times over the last week.
On Wednesday waiting times at SWAH surpassed five and a half hours and in the days that have followed the Western Trust has issued notifications that the emergency department has at times been “very busy”.
At least twice within the last week the Trust has called on members of the public to “only attend if your situation is urgent or life threatening”.
On Thursday night just before 10pm 47 people were waiting in A&E at SWAH, 12 of whom were waiting for a bed.
Another call on members of the public to “consider other sources of healthcare” was made again on Monday.
Before 10am that day 34 people were waiting in A&E, 18 of whom were waiting for a bed. On Monday evening waiting time SWAH A&E sat at just shy of two and a half hours.
As the health service faces mounting pressures a Fermanagh councillor has blasted underfunding as, “not good enough,” warning that it’s worrying as it is “playing with peoples lives”.
Councillor Chris McCaffrey said, “It’s a tough time for the health service, not just in A&E but across all sectors. Nurses have decided for the first time to strike and that is a direct result of the underfunded state of the NHS.”
Cllr McCaffrey added that years of cuts has “pushed staff, nurses and doctors to the absolute limit”.
“It’s not good enough, obviously it is worrying as you are playing with people’s lives who depend on this service.
“This has become a huge problem, but everyone has sympathy for the health staff no one is blaming them. It’s very obvious if you underfund the health service there will be implications.”
Cllr McCaffrey also made reference to award winning services in SWAH. “Take the stroke unit, it’s not just one of the best in Ireland but within the top ten in Europe.”

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