5. Can you comment generally about your stay? E.g Where beds were placed, the amount of patients in the ward, staff etc..
"I was put in the bed covering the fire exit. There were 4 other patient around me in normal beds, I did not have a curtain for any privacy, I felt ashamed of myself as everyone else could see me in my condition. The nurses were so helpful especially when I had to go to the toilet, if not for them I would have wet myself and had to lay in public view for everyone to see."
--------------Statement Mid Ulster Minor Injury Unit------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The Minor In jury Units are open from the hours of 9am-5pm weekdays only, excluding bank holidays. They do not treat children under the age of 5 for any injury.
- There where 249 Opening days during 2011 in where 592 patients who attended the minor injury unit who had to be transferred to another emergency department. 84 of which were children under the age of 5.
- There were 230 opening days between the records released for 2012 (1/1/12 - 28/11/12) in where 645 patients who attend the minor injury unit had to be transferred to another Emergency department. 84 of which were under the age of 5
Attendances at the Minor Injury unit have also increasing since it opened in the 2 years,
- There were 6,107 attendances at the Mid Ulster Minor injury unit during 2011, on average 25 patients per opening day.
- There were 6,881 attendances at the Mid Ulster minor injury unto during 2012, on average 27 patients per opening day.
Antrim A&E, attendances-
- 2011 - 71,089
- 2012 - 70,956
- 2011- 43,247
- 2012 - 43,046
Mid Ulster Minor Injury (open 9am-5pm, weekdays only excluding bank holidays)
- 2011 - 6,017
- 2012 - 6,881
Whiteabbey Minor Injury Unit (open 9am-5pm, weekdays only excluding bank holidays)
- 2011 - 8,695
- 2012 - 8,470
Within the Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT) the Mid Ulster minor injury unit is the only Emergency Unit that has seen an increase in attendances between 2011 /12, and is the only unit that has shown an increase in demand in terms of both minor and major illnesses. This shows that there is a obvious demand for more services at the Mid Ulster hospital site.
Even with the declining numbers attending both the Antrim & Causeway A&Es we have seen a crisis in emergency care, with patients waiting hours in A&E, infection out breaks inside the wards and extra beds pushed into ward bays to keep the A&E's clear. However the A&E is but one pathway in patients, as inpatients have now all but been closed at both Mid Ulster & Whiteabbey the remaining Antirm & Causeway Hospitals simply do not have the inpatient capacity to safely deal with their work load.
When the inpatients fill up in Antrim & Causeway then patients begin to wait longer in A&E for treatment, as there has been a clinical shortage of inpatient beds since the removal of wards 2 and 3 at the Mid Ulster hospital. This has been progressively building since 2010 and why we see A&E's at breaking points throughout the year.
- Admission to Antrim Hospital via A&E have increased 21% (Jan12 - 1,689, Jan 2013 2,044).
- Admission to Causeway Hospital via A&E has increased 26% (Jan 2012- 500, Jan 2013- 628)
Regardless of A&E attendances being down the amount of people requiring admission to hospitals within the NHSCT has increased, between January 2012 to 2013. Since the Rutter and Hinds review in Jan 2012 the vast majority of admissions to the hospital are now vetted by consultants and the Trust cannot blame patients for attending A&Es when they are not requiring acute care when we see such an increase in these figures.
The figures show that the Mid Ulster Hospital is required as a hospital and not the proposed health hub as per Transforming Your Care. Even with the new ward about to open at the Antrim Hospital, it was stated by the Acute Director of the NHSCT Margret O'Hagan at a public Trust Board meeting in February 2013 when questioned by Save The Mid that there will not be a net increase in beds within the Antrim hospital.
Will we have to wait another year waiting in A&E's or will steps finally be taken to reinstate the Mid Ulster Hospital? There needs to be direct political pressure put on the Health Minister and as Magherafelt District Council were the only council in Northern Ireland not to respond to the Transforming Your Care review Save The Mid will be lobbying the council to change the stance it took in 2011 when in the minutes of a meeting with the Northern Trust it stated "Ian Milne reflected “The Chairperson, Councillor Milne felt that the Department had got to where they wanted and the battle to save the Mid Ulster Hospital had been lost.” In the same sentiment it also states “Services would be lost to local people in local areas by centralising them on the Mid Ulster site” and that the council back the recommendations submitted by Save The Mid to the review on 2 separate occasions to reinstate the Mid Ulster hospital.