Hospital pressures laid bare during MLA visit

THE resilience and commitment of staff at all levels has been commended by a local MLA following a visit to Antrim Area Hospital this week.

 Sinn Fein’s Declan Kearney was briefed on the ongoing pressures facing front line staff - and afterwards he called for the restoration of the Executive to secure additional funding in regional health services

 “I spent over two hours visiting Antrim Area Hospital where I met and spoke to doctors, nurses, and other NHS staff, including those working on the frontline in the Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Department, Direct Assessment Unit, and also the HEWS coordination hub,” said the local rep.

“They talked to me about the extreme physical and emotional stress with which they struggle daily.  

“Antrim Area Hospital is a critical health care site in the Northern Trust, but it is under massive resource pressures.

“Key among the several significant strategic concerns which senior staff spoke about was bed capacity within the hospital.

“Antrim Area urgently needs 48 new beds.

“This lack of capacity is having a knock-on effect upon service delivery and is placing relentless strain across all departments and clinical pathways as a result.

“Despite historic under funding and legacy care challenges arising from the pandemic, frontline staff are maintaining superhuman efforts to deliver effective emergency and elective care treatment at the hospital.

 “The challenges facing health and social care workers locally at Antrim Area Hospital, and across all Trust areas, underlines the imperative of our power sharing Executive being re-established.

“So, the DUP should do the right thing and lift its veto.

“Restoration of the local Executive is an essential prerequisite to investing the extra one billion pounds into our regional health service; to recruit more nurses and doctors, tackle waiting lists, and to start delivering real transformations in our healthcare system.

“This additional funding has already been profiled for health and social care within the multi annual budget which is now being blocked.

“Antrim Area Hospital services would be a net beneficiary from release of this new investment.

“I was deeply impressed by the dedication of the staff during my visit to Antrim Area Hospital.

“I want to acknowledge and commend their resilience, commitment and professionalism in providing the best possible care and outcomes for all patients, despite the challenges they face each day.”

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