EMERGENCY Care Departments at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry and Craigavon Area Hospital have been busier than ever during the first three months of 2021.
Almost 10,000 (9,643) attended the Newry Centre with March being particularly busy with 3,839 seeking medical care.
Over 15,000 attended the ED at Craigavon Area Hospital during that same period with March also seeing a significant increase will 6,240 attendees.
A newly published report also indicates that 60% of people who attended Daisy Hill had a waiting time within the four hour preference compared with 47% in Craigavon.
During March 2021, there were 54,240 attendances at EDs in Northern Ireland, 5,045 (10.3%) more than in March 2020 (46,683).
Of the 54,240 ED attendances during March 2021, 46,391 (85.5%) had attended a Type 1 ED, 3,561 (6.6%) attended a Type 2 ED and 4,288 (7.9%) attended a Type 3 ED.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, attendances increased at Type 1 EDs (5,473, 13.4%), but decreased at Type 2 EDs (150, 4.0%) and Type 3 EDs (278, 6.1%).
There were 137,963 attendances at EDs during the quarter ending 31st March 2021, 22.0% (38,944) less than during the same quarter in 2020 (176,907).
Left before Treatment Complete:
During March 2021, 3.3% of all ED attendances left before their treatment was complete. Unplanned Re-Attendances within 7 Days:
During March 2021, 3.4% of the 54,240 ED attendances were unplanned review attendances who had returned to the same ED within 7 days of their original attendance for the same condition.
Referrals by GP:
In March 2021, almost a fifth (17.2%) of attendances at EDs had been referred by a GP, compared with 17.8% in March 2020.
Time Spent in Emergency Care Departments:
Performance against Targets
Over half (55.8%) of attendances at Type 1 EDs in March 2021 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 61.6% in March 2020.
Over eight in ten (85.1%) patients attending a Type 2 ED in March 2021 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 84.6% in March 2020.
Almost all (99.8%) patients attending a Type 3 ED were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 99.6% in March 2020.
Between March 2020 and March 2021, the number waiting longer than 12 hours increased from 2,531 to 3,490, accounting for 6.4% of all attendances in March 2021.
Over eight in ten (81.0%) patients attending EDs commenced their treatment within 2 hours of being triaged, compared with 83.9% in March 2020.
During the quarter ending 31st March 2021, over six in ten (61.0%) of patients waited less than 4 hours at an ED, similar to 64.4% during the same quarter in 2020.
Time to Triage:
The median waiting time from arrival at an ED to triage (initial assessment) by a medical professional was 8 minutes during March 2021, with 95 percent of patients having their care needs assessed for the first time by a medical professional within 37 minutes of arrival.
Time to Start of Treatment:
During March 2021, the median waiting time from triage to the start of treatment by a medical professional was 40 minutes, with 95 percent of patients receiving treatment within 4 hours 3 minutes of being triaged.
Total Time in Emergency Care Department:
The median time patients who were discharged home (not admitted) spent in a Type 1 ED was 3 hours in March 2021, 17 minutes less than the time taken during the same month last year (2 hour 43 minutes).
The median time patients who were admitted to hospital spent in a Type 1 ED was 7 hours 40 minutes in March 2021, 1 hour more than the same month last year (6 hours 40 minutes).
During March 2021, the Royal Victoria reported the longest median waiting time from arrival to admission (8 hours 48 minutes), whilst the RBHSC reported the shortest time (4 hours)