Ensuring a safe service in our Emergency Departments


Belfast Trust today welcomed the Health Minister, Edwin Poots focus on the anticipated shortage of junior doctors across Northern Ireland.

Medical Director, Tony Stevens said, “It is no secret that our three adult EDs are stretched in terms of appropriate clinical cover at particular times. Our focus has to be on patient safety.”

He went on to say, "The Northern Ireland Medical and Dental Training Agency (NIMDTA) has said we do not have sufficient numbers of doctors to train and supervise junior doctors in our EDs”.

“And a regional recruitment drive to Europe has not resulted in the numbers of speciality trainees we need.”

“In light of this and in line with the Minister’s request we are therefore looking at how we provide a safe ED service for all of Belfast in the coming months.”

Some of the options being explored by the Trust include examining opening hours on some sites to make the best use of available staff at key times.

Dr Stevens said, “We continue to be committed to providing the right treatment in the right place at the right time – patient safety is our number one priority.”

Read the ministers statement in full (DHSSPSNI website)