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A&E 12-hour waits triple in Northern Ireland

From BBC - January 5, 2018

The number of patients who waited more than 12 hours at A&E units in Northern Ireland over Christmas almost tripled compared to the same period last year.

A total of 928 patients waited longer than the 12-hour target waiting time at hospital emergency departments between 24 December 2017 and 1 January 2018.

By contrast, 348 waited more than 12 hours in the 2016-17 holiday period.

The figures also show an 18-fold increase in those from Christmas 2015-16.

During that seasonal period, only 48 patients were kept waiting longer than the 12-hour ministerial target.

The figures were obtained by BBC News NI from Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care Board (HSC).

The board said emergency departments across the UK and Ireland were all facing significant pressures.

There was a year-on-year rise in complex and serious conditions, particularly amongst the growing frail and elderly population, said the board in a statement.

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