Save The Mid Online Paper, keeping you up do date on health issues across Northern Ireland.
Save The Mid welcome the decision to review health care in Northern Ireland, with the repeal of the Mc Kinsey Report we should now see the undoing of the Hayes Report / Developing Better Services.
This begins with the instant cessation of current implementations of Developing Better Services, and where Save The Mid are concerned changes that were and are being made to the Mid Ulster Hospital. Within the Northern Health & Social Care trust this should also mean stopping the current run-down of the Causeway Hospital.
The needs and demands of residents in Mid Ulster can now be fully investigated and Save The Mid will be forwarding its extensive research to the Health Minister to ensure that this review is conducted in an objective manner.
The Hayes report was completely subjective in its creation as Hayes was told where hospitals were to be located, this denied him from locating acute hospitals where they were needed.
There is still concerns for residents in Mid Ulster in that the Northern Trust are making decisions outside of the Health Ministers knowledge but we have been assured that this will not happen in the future.
Save The Mid
Community Group For Mid Ulster Hospital
Dear Mr Poots,
This is a Letter from Save The Mid, the community group for Mid Ulster Hospital, these are as everyone one is agreed telling times in the provision of Health in Northern Ireland, big decisions have to be made, the view of the group however poses the question;
“Do we keep buying into the mistakes of the past or do we build for the future?”
Mid Ulster Hospital was a shining example of a rural proofed acute setting, located centrally in Northern Ireland was run down and now is in the final phase of shutdown.
Save The Mid urge that a decision be made to halt any further cuts in services from the Mid Ulster Hospital and in turn ask for a fundamental review into the provision of acute health care in Northern Ireland. Within the review we ask that Mid Ulster hospital be returned.
As was made aware in the run up to the election wards 2 & 3 at the Mid Ulster Hospital are to be removed, 28th May & 5th June respectively. Following this removal Save The Mid can also confirm that Thompson House will be removed as per information gained through sources within the Trust.
Thompson House will also be removed and used to house a GP practice that will be removed from the Diamond Centre in Magherafelt following the decision by the board of the Northern trust not to renew its lease.
As per the Hayes Reports / Developing Better Services, as brought forward by former health minister Barbie De Bruin, as to which any equality impact assessment on health services will be based upon, the Mid Ulster hospital was to serve as a local hospital. A Local Hospital was defined by Hayes as having among others;
Inpatient beds, including;
Acute Medical beds for patients not requiring 24 hour consultant oversight
Step-down and convalescence beds for those patients requiring post-operative care following discharge from a larger acute facility
Respite care beds for carers requiring respite for a number of weeks per year
Palliative care beds for patients requiring this support
Rehabilitation beds including those for patients requiring rehabilitation following a stroke, accident or fracture, or who are suffering from the debilitation of old age and chronic rheumatoid conditions.
This now will not occur if the Northern Health & Social Care Trust are allowed to act independently of government control and outside of what both Domestic and Direct rule Ministers.
Between 2005/2010, there has been a decline in the number of inpatient beds available in hospitals across Northern Ireland. The reduction of 962 beds in the five year period will be further impacted upon by the removal of beds at Mid Ulster, Braid & Whiteabbey hospitals.
Declining beds in Northern Ireland with an extra approx. 43 to be removed from Mid Ulster Hospital by the 5th June 2011, a move that runs contrary to Developing Better services as published from the consultation document known as the Hayes report. The loss of these beds will see an overall reduction of 27,305 bed days per year within the Northern Health & Social Care Trust, and a move that can only be seen as incompetence by Board members given the current capacity issues in the remaining Acute Hospitals.
In 2009/10 the Mid Ulster hospital had the equivalent of 94.7 beds that were occupied 88.4% throughout the year, the second highest of all occupancy rates.
http://www.dhsspsni.gov.uk/hospstats_01_sect1.pdf shows that Mid Ulster had 189 beds, of which all were acute medical beds, according to Hayes the only hospital in Northern Ireland that had a complete quota of medical inpatient beds.
According to Performance Reports from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust residents of the Trust now face the longest recorded waiting times in the history or Northern Ireland, these waiting time although bad are an under estimate as the creation of the short stay and clinical decision wards at Antrim Hospital are technically trolley waits.
Mid Ulster now sees some of the worst ambulance response times in Northern Ireland with only 41% of calls being responded to within the 8 minute target for the first quarter of 2011.
Save The Mid are asking that an immediate decision be taken on the Northern Trusts decision to removed inpatients from the Mid Ulster Hospital until such a tie you are satisfied that the decision to remove Mid Ulster Hospital is correct and in the best interests of residents in Northern Ireland.
Hugh Mc Cloy Chair – Save The Mid
Yvonne Mc Coy – Vice Chair Save The MId
Antrim A&E at ‘breaking point’ says top Medic
Published on Wednesday 25 May 2011 09:54 Antrim Times
ANTRIM Area Hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department is worse than a Belfast city centre hospital during the height of the Troubles, a leading Northern Ireland doctor has said.
Making his comments to press last week, Dr Brian Patterson, a member of the British Medical Association’s Northern Ireland GP committee, recalled a time during the Troubles when he worked at the Mater Hospital A&E.
“Nothing I witnessed there is worse than the situation at Antrim Area Hospital,” he said.
He said people are being failed by the current system, which means even patients sent there by their GP have to be admitted through A&E.
The unit has come under strain since the closure of the casualty departments at Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey hospitals just over 12 months ago.
The emergency waiting time figures for the hospital highlight the problems facing the A&E unit — with an average of six people every day waiting longer than 12 hours to be treated, admitted or discharged. Under Government targets, no patient should wait longer than 12 hours in A&E.
Dr Patterson said: “Children who need emergency treatment are being forced to wait in the department among drunks and car crash victims instead of being taken to a special paediatric unit for assessment.
“Women who are miscarrying babies are waiting hours in the A&E before being moved on to another ward.
“People suffering from severe nosebleeds cannot go directly to the ENT and have to be assessed in the A&E first.
“People with suspected hip fractures are being taken to the A&E at Antrim Area Hospital by ambulance even though there are no orthopaedic surgeons there and they will have to be transferred to another hospital.
“The situation at Antrim Area Hospital’s A&E is far from ideal and a lot of issues are down to the patient pathway system currently in place,” said Dr Patterson.
“We are constantly being told to do things more efficiently but putting in place better patient pathways which would mean they would be seen once and by the right person would save money.”
It is understood GPs in the Northern Trust have stepped in to work with bosses at Antrim Area Hospital to establish systems which could help cut the waiting times at the A&E.
A spokeswoman said the Northern Trust has developed a “robust improvement plan and is committed to securing improvements in emergency care”.
McGuinness hits out over ‘Mid’ A&E closure
Published on Wednesday 25 May 2011 13:00
MID-ULSTER MP and Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness has welcomed Health Minister, Edwin Poots criticism of the decision by his predecessor, Michael McGimpsey to close the A&E Department at the Mid-Ulster Hospital.
“I welcome the comments by the health Minister this morning reflecting my own longstanding criticism of Michael MCGimpsey’s ill-informed decision to close the A&E Department of the Mid-Ulster Hospital,” said Mr McGuinness.
“Michael McGimpsey closed this facility claiming that the Antrim Area Hospital could cope with the increased numbers from Mid-Ulster.
“This clearly was not the case and time has proven that not only did Antrim not have the capacity but that it was already overstretched with patients waiting on trolleys in corridors for attention.
“I hope that Edwin Poots will re-evaluate A&E provision throughout the Health Service and ensure that all areas of the North have proper access to A&E services.”
Meanwhile, Save the Mid Chair Hugh McCloy says he met with the new Health Minister at Stormont moments before the announcement was made for the go ahead for the Cancer Unit at Altnagelvin.
Mr McCloy said he took the opportunity to pass a report to Mr Poots regarding the Mid-Ulster Hospital.
He said he welcomed the fact that Mr Poots may not have been fully aware of the problems within health in Mid Ulster.
Mr McCloy continued: “Save The Mid welcomes comments made by Mr Poots regarding Mid-Ulster hospital after the refusal of the previous Health Minister to meet or speak with Save The Mid regarding Mid-Ulster Hospital.”
Vice Chair Yvonne McCoy added: “ We would like to thank him for his time and future commitment to meet Save The Mid to discuss the historical run down of Mid-Ulster and future possibilities.”
SAVE THE MID
Meet Health Minister
Save The Mid met with Health Minister Edwin Poots at Stormont moments before the announcement was made for the go ahead for the Cancer Unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.
Save The Mid's Chair passed a report to Mr Poots regarding Mid Ulster Hospital and welcomed the fact that Mr Poots may not be fully aware of the problems within health in Mid Ulster, Mr Poots himself also said that “the Trust are not coming and telling me this” after being told of recent information being given by Save The Mid.
Save The Mid informed The Health Minister of the early removal of ward 3 at the Mid Ulster Hospital and how the Trust are currently taking away support services from Thompson House. By taking away support services the Trust are making Thompson House unsafe. It is not the fault of the staff services are unsafe, the fault lays purely with Trust managers deliberately trying to endanger patients to try and remove Mid Ulster Hospital.
Save The Mid welcomes comments made by Mr Poots regarding Mid Ulster hospital after the refusal of the previous Health Minister to meet or speak with Save The Mid regarding Mid Ulster Hospital. Vice Chair Yvonne McCoy “ We would like to say a thank you for his time and future commitments to meet Save The Mid to discuss the historical rundown of Mid Ulster and future possibilities.
Save the Mid will met the Health Minister in a larger meeting and have future meetings set up with MLA’s and the Northern Trust.
Accompanied with Save The Mid was Margaret Gilbert OBE, from O4O/AGE NI, who was honoured for services to older people in Mid Ulster and spoke of how decisions taken in the past have worked against the older generation to be supported to live in Mid Ulster.
Tue, May 24, 2011 News Trust ‘still failing’ Kegworth survivor Thursday, 26 May 2011
Stephen McCoy: forced out of his routine. GA210301F
THE family of a local man who survived the Kegworth Air Disaster have accused the Northern Trust of failing to provide him with the medical support which he had been guaranteed.
Stephen McCoy was just 16 when the unthinkable happened on January 8, 1989. He was on board British Midland Flight 92 when it smashed into an embankment off the M1 in the English Midlands killing 47 of the passengers.
The up-and-coming young boxer from Toome was critically injured and his family were warned to 'prepare for a funeral' when doctors assessed the extent of his devastating injuries.
Stephen remained in a deep coma for more than two months but the fighting spirit which was heralded as 'inspirational' by former world champ Chris Eubank kicked in and he began on the long and painful road to recovery.
In 1995 he was awarded £1.45 million in compensation, but he still has to depend on the support of his family - particularly his sister and full time carer Yvonne.
Yvonne, who is vice-chair of lobby group Save The Mid says she has witnessed first hand the devastating effects the restructuring of the hospitals has had on those who depend on treatment.
Yvonne told the Antrim Guardian that in a series of meetings between the McCoy family and the Northern Trust, it was promised to the family that there would always be a bed available for Stephen in Mid Ulster Hospital.
However, with inpatients being removed from the MId Ulster, Yvonne claims the extreme stress being placed on services at Antrim Area is too much for the hospital to cope with.
On more than one occasion, Stephen has had to be taken to Belfast for treatment as no beds were available at the Antrim site.
Yvonne said: "As the Northern Trust continue to remove all inpatients, treatment at the Mid-Ulster or indeed Antrim Area will no longer be a option for our family.
“Stephen requires close medical attention and since the removal of Mid Ulster A&E has found himself having to avail of hospitals in Belfast as there were no beds available at Antrim.
“This is the human side to the removal of services. Stephen is one of many who could of been directly admitted to Mid Ulster Hospital, a setting in where he is familiar with the staff and where the staff are familiar with his needs."
The McCoy family have faced several stressful occasions now where treatment needed for Stephen has been unavailable and cases where staff have had to trawl through medical records to define what treatment he needs.
Yvonne told the Guardian that the stress on the family as a result of all the upset is 'beyond words'.
“We have Stephen into a routine where he gets fed at certain times and sleeps at certain times," she continued. "It's not fair on him to be forced out of that routine.
“Stephen can't sit for hours at Antrim if he needs treatment, it's too difficult for him to do that and if he has a headache, because of his brain injury, we can't afford to sit about until someone can see him.
“Antrim can't cope, the Mid-Ulster area has been left without a proper hospital and it's having a knock on effect right across the whole Trust area."
The Guardian contacted the Northern Trust about the difficulties facing the McCoy family.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: "We cannot comment on a patient or their treatment through the media.
“We would encourage the patient or anyone who has a complaint to contact us through the Trust complaints procedure so we can formally investigate and respond to them."
Anger at early Mid-Ulster Ward closure
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
A WARD that cared for cancer patients, stroke victims and the elderly was wiped out before its time by a phone call, it has been criticised.
Health Chiefs who ordered the early closure of Ward Three at the Mid-Ulster Hospital have been condemned for hiding their decision from staff and members of the public.
The Northern Health and Social Care Trust unexpectedly padlocked the doors to Ward Three last Tuesday, which was not due for closure until today (May 25).
Staff were only informed of the decision that morning when they received phone calls from Trust headquarters telling them not to come into work.
Nurses in Ward Three, who thought they had up to three weeks before being redeployed, were left in limbo and distress at the premature closure having to make arrangements for short term childcare.
At last minute notice, staff were told to immediately remove up to 10 patients from Ward Three to Ward Two, without families of patients being informed. cancer patients, stroke patients and the elderly.
According to Campaign Group Save the Mid, the decision to close early was made to prevent any objections being raised.
“What did the Trust have to hide when they went in by stealth to remove the ward as quickly as possible without public knowledge. Do these people forget that it is we as potential patients and Tax payers who pay their ridiculous wages," the group criticised.
“Why has the Assembly stood back and allowed this to happen when everyone knows the problems that have occurred since Mid-Ulster Hospital has been maliciously run down.
“Had the previous Assembly done nothing we would still have a hospital located in Mid-Ulster, instead the Assembly done worse than nothing - they worked against residents in Mid-Ulster and removed it."
The Courier first revealed last month that two of the hospital's three wards were due to close. Staff had expressed concerns about job losses when the services moved to the Antrim and Causeway hospital sites, but this latest move is said to have enraged nurses, doctors, auxiliary and cleaning staff.
It is almost one year since A&E services were removed from Mid-Ulster and it is understood Ward Two, with approximately 43 beds, is due to close by June 8. This will leave just one ward at the Mid-Ulster site to deal with inpatient, outpatient and paediatric care as well as minor injuries.
A spokesperson for the trust said: "The Trust stopped admitting patients on May 9. The numbers of patients reduced more quickly than expected and this morning (Tuesday) we made the decision to amalgamate two wards."
Local politicians, Ian McCrea (SDLP), Patsy McGlone (SDLP) and Sandra Overend (UUP).
Meanwhile Deputy First Minister, Martin McGuinness MP, MLA (Mid-Ulster) has welcomed Health Minister, Edwin Poots criticism of the decision by his predecessor, Michael McGimpsey to close the Mid-Ulster Hospital A&E Department.
McGuinness said: "I welcome the comments by the health Minister reflecting my own longstanding criticism of Michael McGimpsey's ill-informed decision to close the A&E Department of the Mid-Ulster Hospital.
"Michael McGimpsey closed this facility claiming that the Antrim Area Hospital could cope with the increased numbers from Mid-Ulster. This clearly was not the case and time has proven that not only did Antrim not have the capacity but that it was already overstretched with patients waiting on trolleys in corridors for attention.
"I hope that Edwin Poots will re-evaluate A&E provision throughout the Health Service and ensure that all areas of the North have proper access to A&E services."
BBC Home > BBC News > N. Ireland Menu Will cuts mean a strong prescription for the NI health service? 11 October 10 17:21
Should Northern Ireland's health and social care budget be ring-fenced?
If politicians decide to protect it, other departments such as education and the environment will have to take the extra hit.
So why should health be more highly valued than some other services?
BBC NI health correspondent Marie-Louise Connolly looks at the tough questions and some possible answers.
Northern Ireland's population is growing fast - and the number of pensioners is expected to grow by 11% in the next five years.
And with new drugs and enhanced hospital procedures available, we are also living longer.
All of which means there is a greater demand on a health service that is now expected to make considerable cuts - potentially £758m worth.
The Health and Social Care Board decides which services to commission
Its chief executive John Compton admits that if the budget is not ring fenced, there will be tough times ahead.
He adds: "Clearly, there would be fewer people working for us and people would have to wait longer on services and there would be an element of rationing."
Some are calling for clinical rather than political arguments to shape the health service.
It would be a bold move to close or merge hospitals, but if the health budget is going to be hit hard then the health minister may have to make some bold moves.
However, if it creates a more efficient service, others might call those moves brave.
It has, for example, been argued that there are too many A&E departments and it would be more efficient to reduce them.
But that would mean closing smaller hospitals such as Whiteabbey and the Tyrone County.
John Compton says that regardless of the budget, maintaining the status quo is not sustainable and there must be "responsible change" because "nothing is static".
If nothing is static, then the health service needs to make better use of its resources.
For example, the £19m saved by closing the Mid-Ulster Hospital could be ploughed back into the system.
At least £13m of that money could go towards paying for a much needed extension to Antrim Area Hospital.
There could be another 150 hip operations performed locally at a cost of £1m.
Another £1m could go to coronary artery bypass grafts.
As Health Minister Michael McGimpsey wants to deliver more care in the community, £2m could pay for additional home helps and community services.
Finally, 100 additional nursing posts would be about £2m.
Even if the health budget is protected, some believe it will not go far enough.
John Appleby is the chief economist with the King's Fund in London and in 2005, he carried out an independent review into the health service here.
He explains: "If Northern Ireland receives a small real rise - that is if it is protected - the sort of gap between the money it gets and the money it would like to receive could be about 20% of its current budget. That is quite a large gap."
With so much focus on services, others believe it should be quangos which are under scrutiny.
"I think there is still fat in the system," says Professor Deirdre Heenan of the University of Ulster.
"If you take the Health and Social Care Board, it was set up to commission services from the trust.
"However the trusts deal directly with the health department. Therefore we could ask the question, do we really need this?
"The Patient and Client Council was set up to be an independent voice for patients. But, in recent health care debates about centralisation and cuts and waiting lists, the council has been notable by its absence."
Everyone is waiting with baited breath for the chancellor's Comprehensive Spending Review announcement on 20 October.
For a time, building projects on hospital sites will be rare to the point of non-existent. What money is available will be used to meet the growing demands and costs.
All in all, quite a gloomy prognosis for a health service that is already experiencing considerable pain.
Save The Mid
These photos, http://www.flickr.com/photos/63141848@N08/5736941148
, show what is currently remaining of the once proud Ward 3 at the Mid Ulster Hospital, Magherafelt. A Ward that cared for cancer patients, stroke vicitms and the elderly was wiped out before its time with a phone call.
Nurse are still not redeployed, families were not contacted about their sick relatives being moved, all this was done to prevent any objections being raised.
Why are public paid servants, some of whom are paid over 100 thousand pounds a year allowed to act outside of public control and public knowledge?
Where are our political leaders while Mid Ulster is being torn apart? where is the outcry from our newly elected representatives, the Mid Ulster Hospital has saved the lives of some of our newly elected representatives but the same people are standing back and ensuring that the Mid Ulster Hospital is not allowed to save the lives of anyone else.
There are currently trolley waits at Antrim, last week according to staff amounted to over 90, yet the Northern Health & Social Care Trust still push on. There are thousands of patients waiting each month in A&E waiting rooms for treatment since the Northern Trust removed Mid Ulster A&E, again thousands waiting on outpatient lists across Northern Ireland.
The Causeway Hospital where staff from Mid Ulster are being redeployed is under threat, regardless of what information comes from the Northern Trust the Causeway is currently being run down the same way Mid Ulster was.
Save The Mid are asking every representative what are they going to do about it?
Report from Save The Mid can be found at the following link:
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