Statement on 2018/19 Emergency Care waiting times

Date published: 21 June 2019

These figures for the year 2018/19 starkly illustrate the pressures on our Emergency Departments and on the wider health and social care system.

We must again apologise to the significant and growing numbers of patients who have been waiting too long in our EDs.

Clearly, the current model of care – the way we organise urgent and emergency services together with the flow of patients through our hospitals from admission to discharge – needs to change.

Demand for care continues to increase and pressures traditionally experienced at winter time are now present throughout the year.

A health service summit will be held next week (June 25) as part of the Department’s ongoing review of urgent and emergency care. It will bring together up to 160 clinicians, patient voices and representatives from organisations across the Health and Social Care (HSC) system.

The summit will help shape a public consultation later this year on a new model of urgent and emergency care for Northern Ireland.

Notes to editors: 

  1. The review of urgent and emergency care is being led by John Maxwell, ED consultant at the Royal Victoria and Mater Hospitals.
  2. Urgent and emergency care includes care provided at hospital Emergency Departments (previously called Casualty or A&E) as well as GP Out-of-hours services and Minor Injury Units.
  3. For media enquiries please contact the DOH Press Office team on 028 9052 0575 or email: For out of hours please contact the Duty press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
  4. Follow us on twitter @healthdpt

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