Waiting times at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Emergency Departments on the increase

Peter Bayne


Peter Bayne



Saturday 21 May 2022 0:00

WAITING Times for patients attending Emergency Care Departments at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry and Craigavon are getting longer.

In March, 1,317 patients who attended the emergency Department at Craigavon Area Hospital waiting over twelve hours from their arrival for discharge.

During that same month, figures show that 2,486 patients waited between four and twelve hours while 2,949 spend under four hours.

At Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, 451 patients spent over 12 hours at the Emergency Department during the month of March.

2,560 spent under four hours while 2,486 spent between four and twelve hours at the Newry facility.

The latest Urgent & Emergency Care Wating Time statistics (January - March 2022) also reveals that in March, 4,710 people attended the ED in Daisy Hill Hospital which is a signifcant increase compared to the same period in 2021.

At CAH, the total number of people whio attended the ED in the third month of the year was 6,822, an increase of over 1,000 on the same period in 2021.

GP referrals

The number of GP referrals to Daisy Hill tototalled 2,296 for the first three months of this year.

At CAH, the number of GP referrals was 4,535.

Figures also reveal that on average some 7% of patients attending CAH Emergency Department left before treatment commenced with just over 5% doing likewise at Daisy Hill.

Emergency Care Attendances:

During March 2022, there were 65,739 attendances at EDs in Northern Ireland, 13,028 (24.7%) more than in March 2021 (52,711).

Of the 65,739 ED attendances during March 2022, 57,753 (87.9%) had attended a Type 1 ED, 2,875 (4.4%) attended a Type 2 ED and 5,111 (7.8%) attended a Type 3 ED.

Between March 2021 and March 2022, attendances increased at Type 1 EDs (11,365, 24.5%), Type 2 EDs (443, 18.2%) and Type 3 EDs (1,220, 31.4%).

There were 178,514 attendances at EDs during the quarter ending 31 March 2022, 32.9% (44,201) more than during the same quarter in 2021 (134,313).

Left before Treatment Complete:

During March 2022, 6.1% of all ED attendances left before their treatment was complete, compared with 3.4% in March 2021.

Unplanned Re-Attendances within 7 Days:

During March 2022, 3.4% of the 65,739 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:

March 2022, one in seven (15.6%) attendances at EDs had been referred by a GP, compared with 17.7% in March 2021

Time Spent in Emergency Care Departments:

Performance against Targets

Almost half (47.3%) of attendances at Type 1 EDs in March 2022 spent less than 4 hours in ED, compared with 80.5% at Type 2 EDs and 99.3% at Type 3 EDs.

Over eight in ten (80.5%) patients attending a Type 2 ED in March 2022 were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 78.8% in March 2021.

Almost all (99.3%) patients attending a Type 3 ED were treated and discharged, or admitted within 4 hours of their arrival, compared with 99.8% in March 2021.

Between March 2021 and March 2022, the number waiting over 12 hours increased from 3,487 to 8,586, accounting for 13.1% of attendances in March 2022.

Almost two thirds (65.9%) of patients attending EDs commenced their treatment within 2 hours of being triaged, compared with 80.6% in March 2021.

During the quarter ending 31 March 2022, over half (52.6%) of patients spent less than 4 hours at an ED, compared to 60.0% during the same quarter in 2021.

Time to Triage:

The median waiting time from arrival at an ED to triage (initial assessment) by a medical professional was 14 minutes during March 2022, with 95 percent of patients having their care needs assessed for the first time by a medical professional within 1 hour 12 minutes of arrival.

Time to Start of Treatment:

During March 2022, the median waiting time from triage to the start of treatment by a medical professional was 1 hour 12 minutes, with 95 percent of patients receiving treatment within 5 hours 55 minutes of being triaged.

Total Time in Emergency Care Department:

The median time patients discharged home (not admitted) spent in a Type 1 ED was 3 hours 35 minutes in March 2022, 35 minutes more than the time taken during the same month last year (3 hours).

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