On the 27th November 2012, at a publically recorded meeting hosted in the Sandal Centre, Coleraine, John Compton CEO of the Health & Social Care Board and Sean Donghy CEO of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust both stated that Northern Ireland has to many inpatient beds in its hospitals. While in the same instance they are so short for beds that they now have to pay private health companies to hire out their beds.
Brooklands Private Health Centre as been awarded £430,155 of tax payers money to provide 15 intermediate health care beds, not unlike the type of beds that have recently been removed from the Mid Ulster Hospital. In addition to this Dalriada Urgent Care was awarded £86,418 to provide back up services.
The question is are our Hospitals too big or too small? Evidence would suggest to small and getting smaller every month. The most affected people here will be elderly people living in Mid Ulster and their families. This is sickening that this is happening during the consultation for the future of health in Northern Ireland, how much do people in Mid Ulster have to suffer before there are clear, sustainable and identifiable services in Mid Ulster.
Save The Mid revealed in October the loss of beds within the NHSCT, "Within the Northern Trust for the year 2011/12 a total of 97 beds was lost, 38% of which were in the Mid Ulster hospital. Since the Northern Trust came into effect a total of 362 beds have been lost. Although the Trust intends to open a new 24 bedded ward at the Antrim there will still be a net loss of beds, bed shortages are one of the most clinical dangers within the Trust, one which they compound by their own actions." - read more here BED LOSS NHSCT
For more information the dangers of Bed Shortages read Rutter and Hinds report, as according to Valerie Jackson, former Director of Acute Services NHSCT, 90% of all patients left waiting in A&E was due to the fact there were no beds - Link
The reason why Mid Ulster hospital in not utilised more is due to the fact that before the end of public consultation in January 2013 the government want to shut it down regardless of what the public say. Unfortunitly for Mid Ulster residents they have been mislead once again by the government in the publications that have been recieved.