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COVID-19 – Service Pressures

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COVID-19 – Service Pressures

Health and Social Care (HSC) continues to respond to the unprecedented challenges presented by COVID-19 during the current surge of the pandemic in Northern Ireland.

These challenges are causing significant disruption across all health and care services, including lengthy delays in our Emergency Departments (EDs) and cancellations of some planned appointments and treatment.

The following update provides a regional overview of the current pressures and challenges across the HSC System in Northern Ireland.


Number of people in Emergency Departments

Snapshot at 12 noon on 17 September 2021
Trust Hospital 0-4 hours Over 4 – 8 hours Over 8 to 12 hours Over 12 hours Total Waiting in Emergency Department Number of Patients Waiting for Admission to a Hospital Bed (DTA) ED Attendances midnight on 15th to midnight on 16th
Belfast MATER 13 1 0 7 21 6 65
Belfast RVH 29 5 2 18 54 21 204
Belfast Belfast Total 42 6 2 25 75 27 269
Northern ANTRIM 37 2 1 21 61 23 301
Northern CAUSEWAY 18 1 1 14 34 15 114
Northern Northern Total 55 3 2 35 95 38 415
South Eastern ULSTER 52 6 2 25 85 32 318
South Eastern South East Total 52 6 2 25 85 32 318
Southern CRAIGAVON 35 3 1 17 56 18 213
Southern DAISY HILL 36 1 3 7 47 10 151
Southern Southern Total 71 4 4 24 103 28 364
Western ALTNAGELVIN 35 5 2 22 64 27 190
Western SWAH 18 0 1 10 29 9 102
Western Western Total 53 5 3 32 93 36 292
Regional Position Regional Total 273 24 13 141 451 161 1658

Emergency Department Figures

(Updated every Monday at approximately 4pm)
Weekly Position: 3 September – 9 September 2021

Trust Hospital ED Attendances Number of Waits > 12hrs % of Waits <4 hrs Non-Elective Admissions
Belfast MATER 470 58 51% 115
Belfast RVH 1,700 402 28% 521
Belfast BCH 34
Belfast RBHSC 1,032 0 71% 117
Belfast Belfast Total 3,202 460 45% 787
Northern ANTRIM 1,884 229 56% 397
Northern CAUSEWAY 889 97 55% 162
Northern Northern Total 2,773 326 56% 559
South Eastern ULSTER 2,093 379 48% 504
South Eastern LAGAN VALLEY 567 2 66% 80
South Eastern South East Total 2,660 381 52% 584
Southern CRAIGAVON 1,534 343 38% 411
Southern DAISY HILL 1,135 130 56% 241
Southern Southern Total 2,669 473 46% 652
Western ALTNAGELVIN 1,285 196 41% 339
Western SWAH 735 104 51% 153
Western OMAGH 332 0 98% 85
Western Western Total 2,352 300 52% 577
Regional Position Regional Total 13,656 1,940 50% 3,159

These figures do not include Urgent Care and Phone First attendances.To be seen, treated, and either discharged or admitted to a hospital bed.

[Source: Health and Social Care Board]

Cancelled elective procedures

HSC Trusts continue to make extremely difficult decisions to cancel some elective procedures to free nursing and medical resources to support the Intensive Care Units and the increasing number of patients with COVID-19 admitted to medical wards.

Unfortunately, cancer services have been adversely affected. Trusts are working very hard to maintain cancer care in so far as that is possible during the current surge.

Cancer services are seeking to maintain chemotherapy, radiotherapy and other non-surgical treatments and alternative treatments will be provided in the absence of surgical options.

A regional approach has also been developed to ensure that any available theatre capacity across Northern Ireland is allocated for those patients most in need of surgery, both during the surge and as we come out of this surge.

HSC is working to ensure that any cancelled procedures are rescheduled as soon as possible.

Cancellations will be kept under review as the impact of COVID-19 is being felt in all areas of the system and it is anticipated that this pressure will continue over the next number of weeks.

HSC would like to apologise to those patients, their families and carers who have been affected by surgeries being postponed and for any anxiety and distress caused to them.

From 3 September to 9 Sept 2021

In total 5840 elective procedures (inpatient and daycase admission and regular attenders) were scheduled of which:

From 27 August to 2 Sept 2021

In total 4485 elective procedures (inpatient and daycase admission and regular attenders) were scheduled of which:

From 20 August to 26 August 2021

In total 5535 elective procedures (inpatient and daycase admission and regular attenders) were scheduled of which:

Bed pressures

Visit the Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard and click on the General Bed Occupancy link for all the latest bed information across hospitals in Northern Ireland.

DoH-COVID-19-dashboard

Department of Health’s COVID-19 Dashboard

Covid Centre update

There are currently 10 primary care COVID-19 centres across Northern Ireland. They are located in Belfast, Ballymena, Coleraine, Newtownards, Downpatrick, Lisburn, Banbridge, Dungannon, Altnagelvin and South West Acute Hospital.

COVID-19 centres are a GP-led innovation that was an urgent and immediate response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The centres ensure that primary care services can be maintained, by enabling patients who have COVID-19 symptoms to be treated separately from those patients who have other conditions which require assessment or treatment in primary care.

From 6 April 2020 to 5 September 2021

From 30 August 2021 to 5 September 2021

From 12 August 2021 to 29 August 2021

From 16 August 2021 to 22 August 2021

[Source: Health and Social Care Board]


Further information

For enquiries about the information available on this page contact the Communications Office at the Health and Social Care Board Tel: 028 9536 3278