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Latest emergency department statistics show need for fundamental transformation of health system, says Bradshaw

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said the latest emergency department statistics show a more fundamental transformation of the health system is required.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after statistics showed during December 2018, there were 66,640 attendances at emergency departments here, 2.3 per cent more than December 2017. Just over 69 per cent of patients were treated and discharged or admitted within four hours of their arrival, 2.3 per cent lower than the same period last year.

"The statistics for December 2018 are almost identical to those the previous year. This shows despite the astonishing hard work of staff in emergency departments, many people are still having to wait too long for treatment.

"The evidence is clear. We will not be able to tackle waiting times in emergency departments solely through a bit of awareness raising. It is essential we recognise a more fundamental reform is required to take the pressure off A&E and improve resources to other points where people can access the health service.
"It is vital we grasp the reality that the transformation of health and social care must proceed, or people will suffer directly. This is a huge challenge and it requires politicians who are willing to take responsibility for it in the interest of the health service and the wider public."