Growing concerns about quality of health care in Northern Ireland

There are growing concerns about the quality of health care in Northern Ireland following comments from the head of the Health and Social Care Board that waiting times for surgery are "likely to get worse".

The comments from Valerie Watts come in the same week that it was revealed that the number of patients on the appointment waiting list at Belfast Musgrave Park Hospital had increased by 75 per cent in 2 years, and that complaints among patients of the NHS in Northern Ireland had increased by 40 per cent in the last 5 years.

Ms Watts told BBC Radio Ulster of her regret that some patients were waiting up to 74 weeks to see a specialist, but said that waiting times "will stretch out" and "some will get significantly [worse]" because of budget constraints and an "unprecedented period of demand". She is calling on Stormont to make the necessary funding available, and says an £89million has been requested.

A significant delay in treatment can pose a huge risk to patients, as conditions can get worse, or the options for treatment can be reduced. It is often cited as a factor in medical negligence claims, along with others such as misdiagnosis, surgical errors and incorrect drug prescriptions.

If you require legal advice from a medical negligence solicitor in Northern Ireland, contact Wilson Nesbitt in Belfast by calling 0800 840 9289.

Or submit your details for a callback from a member of the clinical negligence team by clicking here.