One patient had to be taken to Antrim Area Hospital instead of Craigavon on Monday after ambulances were diverted due to the volume of patients.
Ambulance Service staff were informed that Craigavon emergency department (ED) had been put on ‘full 999 divert’.
A message on the bulletin board said, “Patients from the Craigavon catchment area should be taken to Antrim Area Hospital unless immediate resuscitation is required.”
A spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said Monday was a particularly busy day in Craigavon’s ED with a high number of attendances and patients waiting for admission to the hospital.
He added, “We reviewed the regional ED attendances and an ambulance divert to Antrim Area Hospital was initiated at approximately 16.00hrs until 22.30hrs.
“ Only one patient was transferred to Antrim Area Hospital during this divert.”
Last week, another Southern Trust hospital, Daisy Hill in Newry, warned it could be forced to temporarily shut its ED because of staff shortages.
In such an eventuality, the Trust said, patients would be advised to use their closest emergency department, which would be Craigavon in most cases.