Concerns have been raised that patients awaiting biopsy results from Causeway Hospital in Coleraine are not receiving them due to both urology consultants being off work sick.
Sinn Fein MLA Oliver McMullan said: “Waiting on the results of a biopsy is worrying at the best of times without having to face undue delay as a result of lack of consultants.
“I have been approached by several patients whose results are ready but cannot be given them without the permission of a senior consultant, and as both urology consultants are off sick they cannot find out the result of their biopsy.
“This situation is unacceptable and as someone who has gone through a similar experience I know the worry that these people and their families are suffering.
“I am now calling on the Minister Jim Wells to provide immediate consultant cover so that people can access their results and either have peace of mind that they are free from cancer or begin treatment.”
It is understood that the Northern Trust does not issue details on the sick leave of individual staff. The trust responded that it met with the Health and Social Care Board and agreed the Western Trust will work with the Northern Trust to provide the urology service for the Northern area.
“Both trusts are working in partnership to prioritise patients based on clinical need and additional clinical sessions are being organised by the Western Health and Social Care Trust,” the trust said.
Patients can call the Causeway Hospital with queries on 028 7032 7032.