Northern Ireland

Patients wait 29 hours on Royal Victoria Hospital trolley

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Media captionMaeve McLaughlin said she had been told of patients waiting over 25 hours

Two patients waited on a hospital trolley in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital's emergency department for more than 29 hours, the BBC has learned.

A member of staff said the pressure had not lifted since the weekend.

Earlier, Health Committee chairwoman Maeve McLaughlin said she had heard of extremely long trolley waits.

She said some patients were waiting more than 25 hours in the emergency department on Wednesday.

Speaking at a meeting of the committee, Ms McLaughlin said: "If that is the situation surely that is a crisis and surely we need here and now interventions".

Trust chairman Colm Donaghy told the committee he did not have the information in front of him and he assured the committee "we will certainly look at that" as soon as the meeting ended.

The Belfast Trust said that by 20:00 GMT on Wednesday there were 18 patients in the emergency department: 11 of those had still to be allocated beds.

The trust said, at that time, the longest trolley wait was 11 hours.

Mr Donaghy made his comments as he was giving evidence to the committee on hospital accident and emergency services.

He was answering questions about the night a major incident was declared at the Royal, and, he said, they did not have enough nurses with the relevant skills.

"It is not the case that we would admit patients to an unsafe environment," he said.

Mr Donaghy recently announced his resignation from his post at the Belfast Trust to take up a job in England.

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