Northern Ireland

Leaked reports critical of Antrim Area hospital

Antrim Area Hospital
Image caption The reports were commissioned in January after criticism over patient waiting times

Two reports, critical of practices at Antrim Area hospital were leaked on Tuesday afternoon.

One report deals with the emergency department while the other assesses staff morale.

They were commissioned by Health Minister, Edwin Poots in January following criticism over patient waiting times.

Marie Vaughn, from NIPSA has called on officials to address 'serious issues' within the reports.

"It has been reported to NIPSA for some time that there were issues concerning trolley waits in A & E which have been clearly hidden in wards. It is an absolute disgrace and staff were unable to speak out about it."

English GP, Dr Ian Rutter has spent time observing practices in the emergency department at Antrim Area hospital.

'Rules, targets and protocols'

Dr Rutter's report said that "some aspects of patient care lacks dignity" and that "patients should not have to wait for considerable lengths of time on trolleys."

The leaked document cites "critical incidents" between GPs and senior management caused by failure to act upon recommendations over patient care.

Image caption One report looked at staff morale within the hospital

The second report dealing with staff morale within the hospital was compiled by Mary Hinds from the Health and Social Care board.

It was written following consultation with staff members at the hospital. It reveals low staff morale caused by a culture driven by "rules, targets and protocols."

In the report, Mary Hinds said "while targets are extremely important they shouldn't be achieved at the detriment to patient care."

BBC's Northern Ireland Health Correspondent Marie Louise Connolly spoke to some of the hospital's board members.

They are "extremely angry" at the contents of the reports and said that they are a "knee-jerk reaction to Christmas figures".