Severely wounded patient in Magherafelt waited over an hour for ambulance

Cashel ambulances
Cashel ambulances

A Magherafelt patient suffering from a wound described as a stab/gunshot trauma was forced to wait an hour and one minute for an emergency ambulance, it has been revealed.

The incident came to light after latest figures show that emergency ambulance response times in the local area have worsened.

Cashel ambulances

Cashel ambulances

A total of 486 patients in Magherafelt district had to wait longer than the recommended time for a 999 ambulance, according to the Department of Health figures.

The current Northern Ireland target is that an average of 72.5% of all Category A calls should be responded to within 8 minutes. These are the calls where a patient’s condition is judged to be life-threatening.

In the local area, only 61% of emergency call-outs arrived on time, with the longest having to wait for one hour and seventeen minutes.

The most typical complaint was in the category of convulsions and fitting.

All of these incidents were deemed high priority, or category A, by the Ambulance Service.

This means they were assessed as potentially life-threatening by ambulance control staff during the 999 call.

The postcode lottery was more grim in neighbouring Cookstown where 55% of patients had to wait longer than the allotted time for an ambulance.

The Dungannon District fared the worst, with only 1% of emergency ambulances arriving on time in the Clogher area, and none at all in the Caledon/South Tyrone area.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said he was “disappointed” that Category A response times had dropped but noted that the ambulance service “works tirelessly” to provide safe and efficient emergency care and transport.