a&e waiting times slashed

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Twelve hour waits at the Causeway Hospital’s Accident and Emergency department have been ‘virtually eliminated’ over the past six months, according to figures released by Health Minister, Edwin Poots.

The figures were revealed following an Assembly question from MP Gregory Campbell.

Between September 2011 and January 2012 more than 500 patients had to wait more than 12 hours to be accessed, treated and either admitted or discharged at the Causeway’s Accident and Emergency department. In the most recent winter period, from September 2013 to January 2014, that figure has fallen to zero.

Minister Poots said: “12-hour waits have been virtually eliminated over the past six months.

“Around three quarters of patients are seen within four hours.

“Causeway has not seen the same increase in emergency department pressures as Antrim, although it tends to experience more pressure over the spring and summer months as a result of the visitors who go to the north coast during that time.”

Commenting on the figures, MP Campbell described the figures as good news, saying: “The Health Service is under particular strain in recent years.

“These figures are good news - improvements have been made on waiting times from the same period 12 and 24 months previously.

“It is important that this is maintained.

“Staff at the Hospital do an incredible job and are to be highly commended.

“There is also no doubt whatsoever that local people want to see good quality services delivered, which is what the population of the Causeway Coast currently have at their local Hospital, that service needs to remain and be built upon”