Northern Ireland news

Emergency departments face 'extremely busy' day as trusts appeal to public

Derry's Altnagelvin Hospital was one of several hospitals to face extreme pressure at its emergency department yesterday.
Staff Reporter

HEALTH trusts have pleaded with people to only attend hospital in serious medical emergencies as A&E wards across the north faced extreme pressure yesterday.

The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust warned yesterday its children's emergency department at the Royal Victoria Hospital was "extremely busy".

In a plea issued on social media, a trust spokesperson said: "Please only attend if your child has a serious medical emergency. If your child does not need urgent medical attention consult our symptom checker for expert advice and guidance."

In Derry, the Western Trust said Altnagelvin's emergency department was also facing pressure, with at one stage yesterday 88 people in the ward and 33 patients awaiting admission to the hospital.

A trust spokesperson said in a post that staff were urging members of the public to use their Phone First service for guidance on the best route of treatment.

Meanwhile, the Northern Trust said the emergency departments at both Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital were also "extremely busy", and also advised people to call the Phone First line on 0300 123 1 123.

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