'Over 100 waiting' at Belfast A&E

'Over 100 waiting' at Belfast A&E

More than 100 patients have been waiting to be seen in the Royal Victoria Hospital's accident and emergency department, UTV has learned.

It comes after what has been described as an exceptionally busy weekend for all three Belfast-area hospitals - the Royal, the Mater and the Ulster Hospital.At its peak, it is understood there were 101 people waiting to be seen at the RVH, with 20 patients on trollies waiting to be admitted. A lack of beds has been blamed for the problem.The number of patients waiting has since dropped, the Belfast Trust said.UTV Reporter Sara Moore said: "A hospital source also told me that one of those patients on the trolley may have had to wait up to 24 hours for a bed."The Belfast Trust says last night was very busy and that could well be the case."More beds have been made available at the City Hospital to alleviate pressure - again the Belfast trust says that is the norm - but perhaps it's yet another sign of what staff are dealing with."Five patients are understood to be waiting on trollies at the Mater.Meanwhile a spokesperson for the Ulster said it has been an exceptionally busy weekend but staff are coping, and they would expect to be busy after a bank holiday weekend.Back in January a major incident was declared at the Royal Victoria Hospital when a large backlog of patients caused 12-hour trolley waits with dozens of extra staff being called in.A spokesperson for the Belfast Trust said the current situation is nowhere near a major incident and that the number of patients waiting for treatment is dropping.Sara Moore continued: "I spoke to Ray Rafferty from Unison in the last hour who told me he is very concerned about the continued level of attendance at the A&E, with growing pressure on admitting patients - and he has real concerns about the level of stress staff are facing."


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