Tag Archives: East Antrim MLA

Northern Ireland ambulances missing 999 target times

Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has released figures showing a dangerous deterioration in ambulance response times, which he said is “putting public safety at risk” (stock photo) By Lisa Smyth April 16 2018 Ambulance crews are failing to meet official targets for patients with life-threatening conditions in two out of three cases, it has been claimed. Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has released figures showing a dangerous deterioration in ambulance response times, which he said is “putting public safety at risk”. According to Mr Beggs, only 39% of paramedics arrived to category A calls – the most serious – within eight minutes in January this year. “This is far below the target of 72.5% and a drop of 12% compared to the same period 12 months earlier,” he said. The release of the statistics is the latest blow for the struggling NI Ambulance Service (NIAS), which has come under fire … Continue reading

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NHS has forked out £7m on gluten-free foods in Northern Ireland

The health service in Northern Ireland has dished out almost £7million worth of gluten-free products free on prescription, it can be revealed By Victoria Leonard April 2 2018 The health service in Northern Ireland has dished out almost £7million worth of gluten-free products free on prescription, it can be revealed. The products, which include loaves, pizza crusts, rolls, flour and bread and cake mixes, are available on prescription under the Northern Ireland Drug Tariff. In total, £6,991,825 was spent on the foodstuffs from 2013 to 2017. A spokesman for the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) said that the products are prescribed for patients who are “diagnosed with gluten-sensitive enteropathy with coexisting established wheat sensitivity.” She added: “The Advisory Committee on Borderline Substances (ACBS) recommends products for inclusion on the basis that they may be regarded as drugs for the treatment of specified condition.” UUP MLA Roy Beggs has called … Continue reading

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‘Doomed to get worse’: One-third of urgent cancer referrals wait more than two months to be seen

New official stats have shown a third of urgent cancer referrals in Northern Ireland wait more than two months for their first appointment. (Lynne Cameron/PA) March 29 2018 New official stats have shown a third of urgent cancer referrals in Northern Ireland wait more than two months for their first appointment. The figure is for December 2017, and shows a decrease – from 68.7% to 66.4% – for the same period in 2016. From April 2017, the Department’s target for cancer treatment is for 95% of patients urgently referred with a suspect cancer to begin their treatment within 62 days. Figures published on Thursday by the Department of Health for the final quarter of 2017 show the health service falling short of its treatment targets. Ulster Unionist MLA and health spokesman Roy Beggs said it was “deeply disheartening” that cancer services had “suffered a further major deterioration”. “Compared to twelve … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland’s cancer patients ‘let down’ by waiting times

80.7% of patients were seen by a breast cancer specialist for a first assessment following an urgent referral for suspect breast cancer within 14 days. This target fell compared to same period in 2016 (stock photo) By Cate McCurry March 30 2018 A third of patients with suspected cancer are being forced to wait too long for treatment as waiting times continue to deteriorate. The latest waiting time figures show that only 66.7% of patients with an urgent referral for suspected cancer started treatment within 62 days during October until December last year. All of Northern Ireland’s health trusts missed the waiting time target of 95% for the last quarter in 2017. Cancer Research UK described it as “extremely disappointing” and said patients are being “let down”. The latest figures show that in December 2017, 348 patients commenced first treatment for cancer following an urgent referral for suspect cancer. Of … Continue reading

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Tooth decay the number one reason for child hospital admissions in …

More than 5,000 children had almost 23,000 teeth taken out in Northern Ireland hospitals last year, figures show. The statistic emerged as the British Dental Association Northern Ireland called for more to be done to tackle the region’s oral health – which they say is the worst in the UK. And the body, that represents local dentists, says preventable tooth decay is costing taxpayers millions of pounds per year. The BDA has thrown its weight behind calls for “root and branch reform of oral health strategy”. They say “new analysis shows extractions of multiple teeth among under-18s could be costing the health service over £9million a year”. A spokesman added: “Tooth decay is the number one reason for child hospital admissions in NI. 5,122 children were admitted to hospital last year for removal of 22,699 teeth. Based on official data the BDA estimate the procedures – which took place under … Continue reading

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