Monthly Archives: January 2018

Dublin control of electricity grid ‘a cause for concern’

Dublin’s potential control over Northern Ireland’s electricity supply is a major cause for concern, a leading academic has said. Dr Cillian McGrattan of Ulster University said the Irish Government’s attempts to “destabilise” Northern Ireland, using Brexit as leverage, means the loss of Kilroot power plant “does not bode well,” The politics lecturer said the earlier than anticipated dependance on the new integrated single electricity market (ISEM) north of the border could be exploited to undermine the current constitutional position. “The Dublin government seem to be particularly tone-deaf to unionist concerns over the past while,” he said. “So much so that they seem to be designing policy based on the old republican adage of ‘England’s difficulty is Ireland’s opportunity.’ “That they are effectively using Brexit as leverage to destabilize the north does not bode well for any future influence they might possess, including control over power supply,” Dr McGrattan added. TUV … Continue reading

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A&E staff ‘struggling to keep heads above water’ as waiting times soar

Challenging times: Sean McGovern By Victoria Leonard January 26 2018 Emergency departments here are “fighting to keep their heads above water”, after a massive rise in the number of patients waiting over 12 hours in December, a leading medical body has warned. Figures released by the Department of Health (DoH) reveal that 2,372 (3.6%) patients waited more than 12 hours in local AE departments in December 2017. This represents a staggering 167% rise on December 2016, when 888 patients endured the marathon delay. Antrim Area Hospital had the highest number of patients who endured a 12-hour wait (652), while only the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children’s emergency department hit the target of having no patients waiting up to 12 hours last December. And just 67.7% of patients across all emergency departments were treated and discharged or admitted within four hours – falling considerably short of the 95% target. There … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland A&E waiting times ‘worst on record during December’

More than 2,000 people were forced to wait over 12 hours at emergency departments in Northern Ireland last month, by far the highest on record. That represents nearly treble the number of patients forced to wait such a long time in December 2016, which was itself one of the highest on record. Figures published by the Department of Health on Thursday show that 2,372 people had to wait at least 12 hours to be treated, admitted or sent home last month, compared to 888 in December 2016. Going back to December 2009, the first year for which equivalent figures are on record, shows how stark last month’s statistics are. At that time only 399 people had to wait 12 hours or more. In 2010 the figure increased to 856, and in December 2015 it was back down to 294. The only year where the number of patients forced to wait … Continue reading

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Emergency department waiting times wouldn’t be allowed to happen in England warns Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has warned that our emergency department waiting times would simply not be tolerated in England. Roy Beggs said: “The most recent figures show that 77.3% of patients treated at England’s major units were seen within four hours, against a target of 95%. This provoked an immediate and furious response by the country’s most senior medical practitioners and they wrote to the Prime Minister warning that patients were “dying prematurely” amid “intolerable” safety risks. “Yet the reality is the situation is many times worse here in Northern Ireland. Figures just published by the Health Department here reveal that in December only 63.1% of the most urgent cases were treated or admitted within the 4 hour 95% target. “If doctors are warning that patients are dying in England because their performance has dipped to 77.3%, I am frightened to think what those same doctors would … Continue reading

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ASB in East Antrim

Following anti-social behaviour by groups of teenagers in Carrickfergus and Larne, Roy Beggs MLA has called on parents & guardians to take greater responsibility for their young people. Roy Beggs MLA said, “Underage drinking and anti-social activity often leads to mis-use of drugs. Young people damaging property or being abusive to Police Officers could lead to a criminal record which could seriously restrict young persons future travel and adversely effect employment opportunities. It is often said that it takes a “village to raise a child”. Parents play a critical role in setting standards and boundaries for their child’s behaviour. Help is available to parents who my be struggling. It is important that help is sought if help is needed. Schools play a role and so too can the local community by the standards that they deem unacceptable. The police cannot solve this problem on their own and need the local … Continue reading

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