News

Long waits for patient handovers

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Long waits for patient handovers thumbnailAmbulances outside the Causeway Hospital.

MORE than 300 ambulances were forced to wait over an hour during patient handovers at Coleraine's Causeway Hospital during the past year.
And in 10 cases ambulances took more than two hours to turnaround after handing over patients to hospital staff as well as cleaning and re-stocking their vehicle in preparation for their next call.
The figures from November 2015 to October 2016 came to light after the Ulster Unionist Party requested information from Health Minister Michelle O'Neill.
Across Northern Ireland nearly 8,000 ambulances were forced to wait more than an hour during patient handovers, with almost 500 taking double that time.
Branding the figures "appalling," Causeway Coast and Glens UUP Councillor William McCandless said: "They provide a stark illustration of the logjam being experienced by our local hospital. None of us want to see a queue of ambulances lined up outside hospitals. It is not good for paramedics, the medical team, hospital managers but least of all - the patients.
“Each failure to meet the expected 15-minute handover is a bad experience for the patient and a delay in an ambulance crew being despatched to a new case."
Councillor McCandless added: "These are appalling lengths of time for patients to be forced to wait, turnaround times for the Causeway Hospital exceeded one hour in 325 cases.

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