290 ambulances delayed for 1+ hours in last year at Antrim Hospital

Roy Beggs MLA has expressed his concern at the logjam being experienced by our local hospitals which has resulted in 290 ambulances being delayed for an hour or more during the past year at Antrim Hospital.

Roy Beggs MLA said

“Antrim Hospital serves a very wide rural area and it is disappointing to learn that on 290 occasions over the past year, Ambulance crews have had to wait more than an hour at Antrim Hospital with a patient on a trolley, and indeed 2hrs on 6 different occasions, before they could hand patients over to the care of the hospital.

As well as patients having to waiting on trolleys, this would have meant that Paramedics were not being released to attend a subsequent emergency calls and so this would contribute to delays in ambulances arriving at other emergencies.”

This is not as a result of any failing of the Ambulance system or Emergency Department but is symptomatic of the ongoing difficulties in our Health Service.  

The Ulster Unionist MLA said,

“Reducing such delays requires the whole health care system working. A shortage of beds for new admissions is sometimes being compounded by delayed discharges.   This occurs when other patients unable to be discharged because their residential care, nursing home or package of home support is not available for them. At Antrim Area Hospital alone there were 9,712 bed days lost by delayed discharges during the past year.  With a typical bed costed at £400 per day this is a considerable waste of limited health resources. Clearly improvement is needed.”


Table of turnaround times exceeded by 1 hr and 2 hr over the last 12 months.

Hospital Exceeded 1 hour Exceeded 2 hour
Mater 304 7
The RVH 1,403 37
The children’s hospital 53 1
Antrim Area 284 6
Causeway 325 10
Downe 29 2
Lagan Valley 70 6
Ulster 1,708 127
Craigavon Area 2,028 170
Daisy Hill 395 21
Altnagelvin 530 22
South West Acute 844 87


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