All Website dropdown

News Stories

Update on Pressures at NI Emergency Departments (8 January 2015)


A concerted effort continues right across Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland to alleviate pressures in Emergency Departments and ensure patients are not experiencing undue delays.

At 9am this morning (8th January) no patients were waiting longer than 12 hours in any Emergency Department across Northern Ireland.

As a result of the pressures on Emergency Departments, a total of 179 non-urgent elective procedures have been postponed between 1st and 9th January (this figure may be subject to change). The numbers of procedures varies across Trust areas (see Notes). Patients affected have been contacted by Trusts and Trusts are reviewing the position daily to minimise the impact on patients.

Michael Bloomfield, Director of Performance Management and Corporate Services with the Health and Social Care Board said:

“The Board continues to work closely with all five Health and Social Care Trusts to monitor the situation closely and will do so over the coming days. The number of postponed procedures is regrettable for those affected and we apologise for this. Trusts will do all they can to ensure that those procedures postponed are rescheduled as soon as possible and those affected kept informed.

“Postponing non-urgent procedures is one of a number of actions taken by Trusts as part of escalation plans to increase the number beds and staff available to ensure the sickest patients get the care they need, and to improve the flow of patients within hospitals. A smaller number of procedures are normally scheduled by Trusts at this time of year to reduce the impact that postponing operations may have on patients and their families.

“The Board would like to commend those clinical and managerial staff who are working diligently to ease the pressures on our Emergency Departments as this continues to be a challenging week for them,” he said.


Number of Emergency Department attendances across Northern Ireland from 5th to 7th January across all Trusts (by 24 hour period).

08-01-2015 Situation Update on Pressures at NI Emergency Departments

Monday 5th January 2015 1900
Tuesday 6th January 2015 1560
Wednesday 7th January 2015 1456


The Number of Postponed Elective Admissions (inpatients and day cases) – where the patient was due to have been admitted between 1st and 9th January 2015.

Belfast Health and Social Care Trust 47
Northern Health and Social Care Trust 68
South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust 18
Southern Health and Social Care Trust 1
Western Health and Social Care Trust 45
Total across the region 179

All postponed procedures will be rescheduled as soon as possible.

Across the year (given that elective activity would mostly take place Monday to Friday) there would be an approximate average of 210 inpatient admissions and 750 daycase admissions each day. This equates to an average of 4800 planned procedures weekly (Monday to Friday).