NHS Finance

11.06.18

NI Hospital to receive emergency services cash boost

A hospital that faced losing its emergency department (ED) is set to receive a £1.65m cash injection to help fund its 24-hour emergency care.

The Daisy Hill Hospital in County Down, Northern Ireland, received the funds after Southern Health and Social Care Trust, who runs the hospital, argued the services could struggle due to “a lack of senior medical cover” overnight, putting patient safety at risk.

Now, with new funding, the hospital will receive a new admissions and assessment unit alongside the emergency department which will provide telephone advice to GPs and paramedics and enable some elderly patients to bypass the ED.

Funding will also be granted for measures including strengthening the workforce, such as attracting and retaining senior emergency medicine staff members, due to workload pressures, anti-social hours and lack of resources.

The package includes a £650,000 this year from the Department of Health and Social Care’s health and social care transformation fund, as well as £1m in capital funding from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, due to be implemented at a later date.

Southern Trust chief executive Shane Devlin told BBC NI’s Good Morning Ulster: “We entered into a process where we engaged with the local community and with clinicians and with statisticians to understand what it is the population needs.”

Devlin noted that he was “delighted” with the news.

He added: "When we began to understand that and looked at the dynamics of this particular area in terms of the elderly population, but also in terms of a growing young population, it was very clear that to meet the needs of that population we needed to sustain unscheduled care in that area."

A report in December 2017 from the Daisy Hill Pathfinder Group recommended a total investment of £6m.

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