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Notice to the General Public on increasing wait times at the Accident & Emergency Department

Over the past few years, there have been increasing wait times at the Accident and Emergency Department (A&E) of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. We at the Hospital, and particularly those of us in the A&E, wish to share with you, our clients, some of the factors causing these delays.

When patients come to A&E, they are first triaged – that is, each case is sorted and allocated on the basis of urgency and the seriousness of the illness. Based on medical advances and improvements in the Hospital’s processes, we now offer a level of increased care that improves the chances of recovery for most patients. Because we do more at this first stage, offering additional definitive tests and screening, more time is taken with each individual. With more patients coming to the A&E, an inevitable back up will occur.

While we understand the frustration many might feel at having to wait, we must at this time remind you, our clients, that it is not acceptable to be verbally abusive to any of our staff.  Doctors, nurses, orderlies and nursing assistants are all working assiduously under trying conditions to provide the level of health care each member of the public deserves. But you, the public, must also play your part and recognize your responsibility to show respect to those assisting you.  As such, there will be a zero-tolerance policy with respect to abuse directed at any of our members of staff.

We recognize there are areas in which we must improve, and we are working to fix those from our end. We must ask you, however, to do your part as together as we improve the services offered by the A&E, this most vital area of public service. Together we will make our healthcare service one of which all of us can be truly proud.

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