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Emergency Department waiting times


Commenting on the DHSSPS Emergency Care statistics 2013/14 released today, Fionnuala McAndrew, Interim Chief Executive of the Health and Social Care Board said: “Reducing waiting times and ensuring access to high quality urgent care remains a top priority for the Health and Social Care Board.

“There has been a significant reduction in the number of people who waited longer than 12 hours in Emergency Departments during the past year – a total of 3130 patients waited longer than 12 hours in Emergency Departments during 2013/14 compared to 5560 in 2012/13 – a reduction of 2430 (44%). The improvement has been more marked during the period from January to March 2014, 838 patients waited longer than 12 hours compared to 2,353 in January to March 2013 – a reduction of 64%.

“While this is the lowest number of patients who have waited longer than 12 hours in the last four years, further progress is required. No patient should wait longer than 12 hours in Emergency Departments, and the Board is continuing to work with Trusts to achieve further improvements are secured throughout 2014/15.

“In addition, considerable further progress is required in relation to the number of patients who are either treated and discharged home, or admitted within four hours of their arrival in an Emergency Department. The Board is working closely with all Trusts to improve the flow of patients into, through and out of the hospital system in order to secure improved performance during 2014/15.”

Emergency departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients, especially those with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma. In line with the ‘Choose Well’ campaign, aimed at creating a better understanding of the range of health and social care services available in local areas and providing advice on how best to use the services, we would urge the public to “Think Where and Choose Well”. This will help ensure that Emergency Departments are used appropriately and that people can get timely access to the right treatment, in the right place. For more information about Choose Well and the range of services available visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell