A furious Co Tyrone woman has accused politicians of “not giving a damn” about local people after waiting hours with her mother to seek medical attention at Craigavon Area Hospital.
Sick with worry and desperate for help, Mairead Doyle, from Donaghmore, says it not the fault of those at the coalface, who are stretched and exhausted.
But she has lambasted politicians of all hues for failing to put people first and ensure a fit-for-purpose health service is in place to cater for all our needs.
She said she had taken her mother to A&E at Craigavon Area Hospital, at around 10pm on Sunday, having been advised to do so by the out-of-hours GP service.
Her mother had shown with a rash and was experiencing great difficulties breathing.
Mairead and her mother’s experiences over the coming hours have led her to urge people again to take matters into their own hands and demand action from Stormont.
She explained how she had spoken to others in the waiting area, all with their own tales to tell – and with plenty of time on their hands to tell them!
Mairead said she was even told how, on Monday of last week, there had been 180 people in A&E!
The furious daughter said she was worried about her mum and drove for almost an hour to get her to the nearest Emergency Department, which was at Craigavon Area Hospital.
She explained that her mum was eventually seen by the triage nurse – who was “evidently under extreme pressure” – and had bloods taken.
Mairead shared her experiences – and those of her neighbouring patients – on social media, insisting the country was “in crisis”.
She said: “Mum was told they would be back in 1.5hours. During this time she was getting progressively worse and asked if there was even somewhere she could lie down. The answer being a firm no. She went in several times to beg for someone to look at her.
“The doctor told her he was supposed to finish his shift 1.5 hours ago and he seemed exhausted.
“In the jam packed waiting room I met an elderly man who had been there for 12 hours and a lady who was pregnant and was bleeding who had also been there for about 14 hours having only been triaged and not examined yet.
“Furthermore an elderly lady who had travelled from Omagh with her husband and daughter. Omagh hospital got a major multi-million pound rebuild and yet there isn’t even the facility for an out of hours A&E – it closes at 9pm.
“Within that time four people walked out including a man who had been bleeding from his rectum since Friday and had to leave after an eight hour wait because he had to go to work. This was his second attempt this weekend trying to be seen by a doctor in this A&E Dept.
“While I was there the waiting time rose from 8-9 hours to 12 hours.
“We left the hospital approximately nine hours after we arrived and to be honest not much further forward than when we had come which was very upsetting and worrying.
“I spoke to a domestic who had worked there for 13 years and he told me last Monday there were approximately 180 people waiting in A&E – he had never seen it so bad in all his time.”
Turning to those tasked with running the country, Mairead has demanded to know: “How on earth can this be acceptable?”
She continued: “I am in no way blaming the medical professionals working within the hospital. Our system is completely on its knees and we don’t even have a government to turn to.
“Our ‘politicians’ in Stormont are too busy arguing or spending their time in Westminster to give a damn about their own people.
“Furthermore, are they not only after getting a £13,500 pay rise?! It’s time to do something!!!
“Taxpayers’ money being used to pay a wage for people who are absolutely useless.
“Would it not be more fitting to pump this money into the NHS? We as the next generation need to stand up and be counted! We can’t just talk about it anymore. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.”