‘We need to improve on the four hour performance’

Antrim Area Hospital's new Accident and Emergency department.

Antrim Area Hospital's new Accident and Emergency department.

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ONLY 68 per cent of patients visiting the new Accident and Emergency facility at Antrim Area Hospital during July were treated or discharged within the four hour target laid down by the Health Minister.

In an exclusive interview with the MAIL this week, Senior Director of Turnaround at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust Mary Hinds acknowledged that there was work to be done.

However, she praised staff for their dedication to the patients who pass through A&E at Antrim which was ranked one of the worst performers in the table.

Figures from the Department of Health show that a total of 4442 patients were treated, admitted or discharged within four hours (68.6 per cent) while 2012 were treated within the four to 12 hour window (31.1 per cent). Twenty patients (0.3 per cent) were treated, admitted or discharged home following 12 hours or over in A&E.

This compares to 80.7 per cent at Causeway Hospital being treated, admitted or discharged home within four hours. Antrim has come under frequent criticism for not meeting targets, however Mrs Hinds pointed out that the A&E department saw a huge increase in the number of patients this July compared to the same month last year.

Read the full story in this week’s Mid-Ulster Mail.