This ward was developed as a holding ward for patients who attend the A&E at Antrim Area Hospital, in 2004 through developing Better Serives it was stated following the decision to downgrade Mid Ulster Hospital that (link):
"5.2.10 The focus in both hospitals will be on optimising acute inpatient bed capacity by maximising day surgery as an alternative to elective inpatient care, using outpatient procedures as an alternative to day surgery, and improving the management of emergency inpatient admissions including the utilisation of a short stay ward."
The short stay ward has been the center of controversy since it was created, at times patients are placed in trolleys at its doors for hours waiting to be admitted and other patients, including members of Save The Mid have sat on plastic chairs outside its doors for over 6 hours waiting to be admitted.
The short stay ward is in most part of the Emergency Pathway is not recorded as actual emergency care waiting time, it is the view of Save The Mid these times should be included. A true picture of the emergency pathway will highlight more the issues facing Antrim Hospital, this ward is another example of the NHSCT manipulating waiting time figures, a target based exercise that has no clinical merit.