Ahead of the relaxation of lockdown measures which will allow pubs and bars to open from this weekend, the BMA in Northern Ireland has urged people to be sensible and not drink to excess in order to prevent ED departments across the country being overwhelmed.
Dr Siobhan Quinn, an emergency department doctor in Belfast and a BMA committee member said, “We know everyone is excited about going out again, seeing friends and being able to socialise in a more normal way but the last thing the emergency departments across Northern Ireland need now is an influx of people on Friday and Saturday night who have consumed too much alcohol.
“Over the course of the pandemic we saw a marked decline in the number of people presenting at weekends who had either drunk too much, taken drugs or had ended up in a physical fight where they sustained injuries needing treatment.
“Our emergency departments are now seeing the same number of patients as before the pandemic and there are still unacceptably long waits for patients. So, I would strongly urge people to drink responsibly when they do go out, have a good night but make sure it’s not one that ends up in an emergency department.”
From Friday bars, restaurants and cafes can reopen. Bars with outside areas will be able to serve alcohol on a table-service basis, while inside alcohol will have to be served along with a meal.
Notes to editors
The BMA is a trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.
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Email: Grainne Brinkley ([email protected])