Alex Easton MLA is horrified at the answer to a Northern Ireland Assembly Question he submitted about patients waiting in Ambulances to get into the Ulster Hospitals AE to be seen.

Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:

I am truly horrified by these figures showing the length of time some Ambulance patients are having to wait in an Ambulance outside, because the Ulster Hospital AE unit does not have enough space and capacity to bring them straight into AE. This is totally unacceptable. The reality is the New AE building was built far too small, it is actually smaller in size than the previous AE and this has led to this Ambulance waiting situation becoming worse. The fact they have the closed the Ards and Bangor Minor Injury units has exacerbated the problem as I predicted and warned, the fact GPS are asking patients to go straight up to the Accident and Emergency is also not helping. The reality is the New AE unit was built far too small and cant cope, the patients that are using the Ulster AE unit deserve better and nobody should be waiting in an Ambulance to be treated, this needs to change. Those who supported the closure of the MIUs namely the Management of the SE Trust and Alliance Party need to be hanging their heads in shame because they have helped created this nightmare situation, there needs to be urgent planning done above the heads of the Senior Management of the SE Trust and emergency measures put in place so that patients are not having to wait for hours in an Ambulance, which then can not be used as it is forced to wait on site for hours. My heart goes out to the Doctors & Nurses, Ambulance staff and patients who have been placed in this impossible situation and are suffering as a result. The Health Minister needs to step in and take urgent action to address this crisis at the Ulster Hospitals AE unit.”