'I've patients in corridors': Doctor in appeal as pressure at Altnagelvin Hospital revealed

Altnagelvin Hospital in Londonderry. Credit: UTV

A patient in Altnagelvin Hospital's Emergency Department in Londonderry has been waiting four days for a bed, according to a consultant.

The Western Trust says the hospital in Londonderry has now reached 100% capacity and is under extraordinary pressure.

Currently there are 84 people in the emergency department with 34 waiting for a bed.

Dr Sandy Nelson, an emergency medicine consultant at Altnagelvin, says one patient has been waiting for four days.

He has pleaded with people not to attend the department unless it is an emergency.

"We are currently under extraordinary pressure and I would ask for your help and patience at this time," he said.

"At the moment I've got 84 patients in the Emergency Department, 34 of them are awaiting a bed, one of those patients has been waiting four days for an inpatient bed.

"I've got patients that are sitting in corridors on chairs for 24 hours before we can physically put them in a bed for them to have a lie down."

Dr Nelson has appealed to the public to only attend the Emergency Department if it is an emergency.

He added that patients with true physical and psychological emergencies will be seen "as soon as we can."

The health service has been under incredible strain with regular reports of hospitals under extreme pressures. At the weekend one woman aged in her 30s died after she collapsed on a night out and the nearest ambulance was 45 minutes away.