Northern Ireland

'High level of pressure' across NI emergency departments

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Media captionSome patients are having to wait longer to be treated at emergency departments, as David Maxwell reports

Emergency departments across Northern Ireland are currently experiencing a high level of pressure, according to the Health and Social Care Board (HSC).

The HSC and the Public Health Agency (PHA) have warned some patients are having to wait longer to be treated.

In a joint statement, they say they are working closely with all Health and Social Care Trusts.

They have urged the public to consider other options if their symptoms are not urgent or life-threatening.

"By choosing the most appropriate service, patients will receive the right treatment in the right place and will help alleviate pressures on other urgent care services at this very busy time, " a HSC spokeswoman said.

The board and the PHA have urged the public to consider other care options available to them such as their GP, nearest minor injury unit or local pharmacy.

"The public are reminded that emergency departments provide the highest level of emergency care for patients, especially those with sudden and acute illness or severe trauma," the spokeswoman added.

"Patients who present at emergency departments will always be dealt with in order of clinical priority, so more acutely ill patients will be seen first."

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