A VISIT last week to the A&E department at Antrim Area Hospital was “an eye-opening experience” for East Antrim Assembly member Oliver McMullan.
The visit, pre-arranged with the Northern Trust, took place on Friday. This week, the Sinn Fein MLA said: “I was extremely impressed by the dedication and professionalism of the staff, but concerned about the amount of stress that they were put under during their shift.
“One of the things I noticed was that some of the patients did not necessarily need to attend A&E. This has the effect of taking up valuable time and putting the team under undue pressures.
“It is also important that the A&E ward has the proper mix of expertise in order to deal with the range of injuries and ailments that the team is faced with over a shift. It is therefore essential that the new A&E ward due to open in 2013 is prospered staffed with the correct numbers and mix of expertise.”
Mr McMullan appealed: “I would call on the management to work towards implementing an integrated strategy that will give the public the knowledge of which appropriate facility they should attend when ill and ensure that the A&E is staffed with the correct number of people and expertise.”