A SHORTAGE of intensive-care beds meant that a Glenarm man who suffered a heart attack had to be taken to Enniskillen’s Erne Hospital.
The elderly patient had been transferred by ambulance to the accident and emergency department at Antrim Area Hospital, where he was assessed and given coronary treatment.
However, staff seeking to move him to intensive care were unable to locate one in Antrim, or in any of the Belfast hospitals, according to East Antrim Assemblyman Oliver McMullan, who is to take up the recent case with Health Minister Edwin Poots.
“My understanding is that it was not a shortage of beds as such, but of the staff that are required to care for patients in need of intensive care,” said the Sinn Fein representative.
“The result was that this man had to be taken by ambulance all the way to Enniskillen. The priority is always the patient but it meant that his family were also faced with that daunting journey to be with him.
“The question for the minister is: what would have happened in this instance if there hadn’t been a bed available in the Erne? Because there weren’t any in Antrim, at the Royal, the Mater, the Ulster, Craigavon, Altnagelvin or Causeway.
“I will be asking the minister if there is an emergency plan that would enable other beds to be upgraded?
It is something that I believe should be looked at in the ongoing Health Service review.”