The Western Health and Social Care Trust Trust has “sincerely apologised” to patients who waited for up to eight hours to be treated at Altnagelvin Hospital's Accident and Emergency v Department on Monday last.
One patient, who did not wish to be named, said the service was at “breaking point.”
"It was really shocking, I have never seen it so bad," he said "It was so crowded people were sitting on the floor.
"There were people of all ages there and obviously some of them were really ill.
"I waited over two hours just to see the triage nurse and then over six to get seen by a doctor.
"The amount of people waiting on beds was shocking. It's at breaking point."
At 8.00pm on Monday evening, the Western Health and Social Care Trust issued a statement on social media saying there were 90 patients waiting to be seen and 30 waiting on beds.
The Trust urged people not to attend unless they needed urgent medical or mental health attention.
Patients were also asked to bring just one family member due to the numbers in the waiting area.
A spokesperson for the Western Trust apologised for the long waiting times over the Christmas period.
“Our Emergency Department at Altnagelvin Hospital, Londonderry continues to be extremely busy.
"There has been a very high number of attendances over the past number of days."
“People are seen, assessed and prioritised on the basis of individual need and staff are working very hard to ensure all patients are treated in a timely manner.
"Some people who attend the Emergency Department may be required to wait longer than we would like and we sincerely apologise for this."
The spokesperson added staff had been working hard to get patients the appropriate treatment.
“We continuously encourage the public to utilise all available community services and to only attend the Emergency Department when absolutely necessary.”
The spokesperson concluded: “We would wish to pay tribute to our staff who are working hard and prioritising the needs of their patients during these challenging times.”
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