By Alan Healy
Nine people waited more than 12 hours to be treated at the Accident and Emergency department at Altnagelvin Hospital during the month of June, it has emerged.
The figure was revealed during the monthly meeting of the board of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), which was recently held at its headquarters at the hospital.
At the meeting, board members were told that they were 13 breaches of the Trust’s 12 hour target to treat people at its emergency departments during June.
Nine of these were at the emergency department in Altnagelvin Hospital, while the remaining breaches occurred at the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) in Enniskillen.
The nine breaches at the local A&E marked a significant reduction on the figure for May, where 24 people waited more than 12 hours to be treated.
The breaches of the 12-hour waiting time standard were contained in the monthly performance report for June, which was presented by Teresa Molloy, Director of Performance & Service Improvement.
Speaking at the meeting, Ms Molloy warned that the figures for July had been affected by the ‘significant challenges’ faced by the hospital due to the closure of a number of wards following the outbreak of diarrhoea, vomiting and ongoing staff shortages.
However, she added that in regards to waiting times at emergency departments, that they were still ‘one of the best performing Trusts’ in the north.
The report also showed that 78 per cent of patients attending the Altnagelvin A&E were treated within four hours.
Meanwhile, staff working in the Trust’s cancer services were also praised after it emerged that the Trust had achieved a 100 per cent in its target for treating all urgent breast cancer referrals within 14 days.
The Trust also achieved a 100 per cent in its target of cancer patients receiving their first treatment within 31 days of a decision being made to treat them.
There were a number of breaches, seven in total, of the Trust’s 62 day target for people beginning treatment, but Ms Molloy added that this figure had been impacted by other factors, such as patients being transferred from Belfast.
“It’s a very, very good performance,” she added.
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