Senior medic describes emergency departments as a 'daily battle'

A top emergency doctor at the one of Northern Ireland's largest emergency departments has described every day as a "battle."

Dr Siobhan Quinn said there has been an exponential increase in patients waiting in emergency departments in recent weeks which have led to record numbers of patients in accident and emergency departments.

She reported major overcrowding with patients lined up "head to toe" in corridors.

Speaking to UTV, Dr Quinn, said: "It's overwhelming at times for staff. Patients are waiting a long time to get assessed by doctors.

"You go into work every day thinking this is going to be a battle.

"In the last few days we've had up to 90 patients waiting to be admitted and unfortunately we've had to start putting patients in a corridor.

"The staff are doing their best to look after them, to treat them safely and give them some dignity.

"It's distressing for the patients, it's distressing for the staff and its upsetting for the relatives.

"I can see all around me, harm coming to patients. Patients just not getting their treatments or medication in a timely way.

"All these things will contribute to patients not getting better as quickly as they could do."

On Friday morning, more than 300 patients across Northern Ireland were waiting on a hospital bed.

Additionally, there were 662 patients in emergency departments.

Half of those had been waiting more than 12 hours.

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