Sinn Féin MLA Linda Dillon today visited Craigavon Emergency Department and witnessed first-hand the immense and extreme pressure both staff and patients are facing.
Speaking following a report from the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) showing patients are unable to access treatment urgently due to delayed discharges, the party’s health spokesperson said:
“Staff and patients are under extreme pressure in Craigavon Emergency Department and are dealing with unsafe and frankly ridiculous conditions.
“A lack of a proper plan and facilities to discharge patients into the community is having a detrimental impact on emergency departments and patients, despite the best efforts of staff.
“If a new Executive was formed, we could help both patients and staff under the direction of a Minister for Health with a proper plan to deliver for patients and help them to access urgent treatment much quicker.
“The DUP’s continued boycott will heap further pressure on already hard-pressed hospitals. Tomorrow’s strike could be prevented and a pay rise awarded to our health workers who need it and deserve it.
“Health care staff do not want to strike; they are being forced onto the picket lines for the pay rise that they are entitled to, that they need and that is now being denied to them. They are striking because they are being forced to deliver care without adequate staff and in unsafe conditions.
“In the absence of an Executive, the British Secretary of State should give them this pay rise with no more delays.
“We need an end to the DUP’s reckless boycott and a proper plan to deliver for staff, patients and the wider health and social care system.
“It’s time for Jeffrey Donaldson and the DUP to demonstrate positive leadership, and to finally do the right thing.”