SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has said that the health service is collapsing before our eyes due to the pressures being put on services and staff.
He was speaking after staff at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital described conditions as like a “battlefield”, with staff struggling to provide dignified care in an overcrowded emergency department.
Mr McGrath said the situation at hospitals is getting increasingly difficult for patients and staff, with winter pressures and the rise in Strep A cases making a bad situation even worse.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“No matter how many times we hear about what sick patients and our exhausted health staff are dealing with in hospitals across the North it never gets any easier. The latest reports of the situation at the Royal Victoria Hospital are extremely concerning, but the reality is this is the situation unfolding in all of our hospitals and things are set to get even worse with winter pressures and the outbreak of Strep A heaping further pressure on staff and resources.
“Our health service has passed breaking point, we are now in a situation where elderly people are left lying on trollies in emergency departments for hours at a time and where we can no longer guarantee the required staff numbers to ensure patient safety. My heart goes out to the staff who are giving everything each and every day to hold together a health service that has failed them at every turn.
“We can talk about these issues for ever, but we are going to see more and more reports like this in the weeks and months to come. We know that a Tory government is not going to step in and fix our health service, we need an Assembly and Executive up and running to take the decisions necessary to implement reform, but we saw again yesterday where the DUP’S priorities lie. We need to fight for our health service, our patients and staff deserve so much better than suffering as a result of political failure.”