Claims closure putting strain on other hospitals

There have been claims the closure of the A&E Department at Lagan Valley has had a knock on effect at neighbouring hospitals.

Last week there was the well publicised crisis at the Royal Victoria Hospital with a surge in patient numbers resulting in emergency procedures being activated.

It has also emerged there was a similar surge at Craigavon Area Hospital on Monday of last week with ambulances diverted to Daisy Hill and even Enniskillen.

Upper Bann MLA Dolores Kelly said: “At a time when A&E opening hours are being reduced in Lagan Valley and the Downe Hospitals it is clear that those patients need to go somewhere.”

A Health and Social Care Board spokesperson said: “A review of the impact of the changes to the Emergency Departments (EDs) at Downe and Lagan Valley Hospitals highlighted that the impact on other hospitals last weekend was minimal.

“ffective planning and the commitment of staff ensured that the changes at Lagan Valley and Downe Hospital did not have any significant impact on pressures at other hospital sites.”