Nurses 'fear for lives' at Royal A&E

Nurses 'fear for lives' at Royal A&E

A nurse at the Royal Victoria Hospital has told UTV she fears for the lives of patients if problems in the emergency department are not properly addressed.

On Monday, the Belfast Trust triggered what it described as an "escalation plan" to deal with the backlog of patients.The Belfast Trust said there were pressures on all emergency departments across Northern Ireland at the weekend but while escalation measures were triggered, including opening beds and bringing in extra staff, a major incident wasn't called.Last month, with 42 patients waiting on treatment and staff under pressure, the hospital's management declared a major incident.Staff likened the scenes in the hospital to that of a war zone and the health minister was booed during a visit to the facility.However, a nurse has said that on Sunday there was almost double the amount of people waiting on treatment compared to the amount that sparked the major incident last month.She also claimed that patients were moved around the hospital its fracture unit and recovery ward in order to clear the area.The nurse explained: "There were 96 trolley waits and what was happening was they were moving ones out to get more room to get more in. But there was no room to move anybody any more."It was just consistent bedlam. And what I want to get across is this is the norm, every night."She went on: "When the incident happened in January patients were hidden in fracture clinics and this is why the next day they could come on the TV and the radio and everything and say, you know what we had cleared the trolley waits."They had cleared them because they had hid them."In a statement, the Belfast Trust said: "We do not hide patients."As part of the measures to deal with the pressures within the emergency department system patients were moved into the theatre recovery ward where they were cared for by skilled nursing staff while ward beds became available."Health Minister Edwin Poots, who is attending a conference in Barcelona, said his concern that things haven't been working as well as they could have been has been well documented and that was why he had ordered a review of emergency care.


Elsewhere on the Web

More Top Stories

UTV Digest

Your daily digest of the most popular UTV Stories

Back to Top

From Monday 6th June the UTV news service will be moving to

To keep up to date with all the latest stories from UTV:

- go to the ITV News website at

- download the ITV News app on iOS

- download the ITV News app on Android

For more information please go to our FAQs page