SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has said an urgent plan is required to manage children’s healthcare over winter.
He was speaking after it was reported a number of children’s operations have been postponed at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
It comes amidst a high number of children being admitted with respiratory conditions.
The South Down MLA said:
“News that a number of children’s operations have been postponed due to rising admissions at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children is cause for grave concern. Only this week we heard from NICCY about the issues children here have accessing healthcare and the problems only seem to be getting worse.
“We are already starting to see the impact of winter pressures and staff have expressed concern about the number of beds available in the coming weeks as the pressure intensifies. It’s unthinkable that we are heading towards a situation where we won’t be able to give children the healthcare they need this winter.
“The warning alarm is already sounding and we cannot allow this situation to proceed with no action. Health Minister Robin Swann needs to listen to the concerns of staff and work with officials to ensure that extra beds are available for children in need of treatment. He should also explore alternative options to allow children’s operations to go ahead, whether this is in another hospital or nightingale facility.”