Dear Department of Health (Northern Ireland),
My 88 year old confused mother was recently left extremely traumatised following her experience in an A and E Department in Northern Ireland due to 5x police officers being present whilst 2 separate patients were behaving in a very obscene and volatile way on the ward. This was very distressing for not only my mother and for other patients in the ward. It also seemed that the busy ward was also disturbing this patient. Staff on ward were apologetic and said that another area which would be used for such a patient was already in use. On speaking to his relative she told me that he had been ‘sectioned’ and was waiting on an ambulance to take him to a hospital in Coleraine as there were no beds for him nearby. When my mother was admitted to the ward some 6 hours later this man was still waiting along with several police. I am very concerned about this type of incident and would like to ask for information on why such resources are necessary and if this could be more appropriately managed. Therefore-
Please provide information held justifying the necessity of persons like this waiting in A and E for an ambulance. (As opposed to their own home or another appropriate place)
Please provide information on why NI does not have places of safety which the mainland apparently has and any record of any considerations to same.
Please provide information on why patients living in Belfast would be going to mental health hospitals in the north coast.
How many serious incidents have occurred in a and e depts involving patients who are sectioned and waiting to go to their hospitals.
Do a and e departments have mental health trained nurses working during every shift?
(Note that I am not recording this as a complaint merely a request for info)
I have checked within the Department and we cannot answer any of the
You would need to re-submit your request to the relevant trust and I have
attached contact details for each.
I am sorry we cannot be more helpful on this occasion.
Information Management Branch
Tel: 02890 528218
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