Save The Mid like many Mid Ulster residents are not shocked by the content of the Rutter & Hinds review, indeed the information released to the public is neither new or something that both the Government and Northern Health & Social Care Trust (NHSCT) already did not know. This report is not just a scathing indictment on the governance of the NHSCT but also the Health Minister and Mid Ulster MLA's as they have been for two years been made fully aware of the concerns contained within this report, yet failed to act in a manner that would be creative of patient safety. Indeed neither Magherafelt nor Cookstown Councils made a written submission to the Compton Report.
Save The Mid submitted 3 different reports to the Compton review which are supported in part by this new information, three reports that were also sent to the Government for their consideration yet no reply was given. http://savethemid.weebly.com/research-documents.html
However concerns have been raised by the report, Dr Rutter in his review only spent 1 day in Antrim Hospital as stated by CEO NHSCT Sean Donaghy, later revelations are stating that Mrs Hinds has omitted staff concerns about bulling and harassment. Concerns that Save The Mid also brought to the Health Minister regarding a top A&E Consultant in Antrim in bullying and harassing nurses and doctors we left unanswered. Other concerns are also contained in NHSCT Exe member Valarie Jackson, head of Acute service, saying these human needs are only specific to patients waiting and not the entire emergency care pathway, what about patients who are admitted do they not count.
When we look at recommendations like the Trust should have more specific A&E information Save The Mid fully agree with this as waiting times do not include time spent in clinical decision and short stay wards and the corridor ward. We see other recommendations in terms of targets and waiting times which are the exact same recommendations that have been made over a two year period yet no action has been taken.
We believe that the NHSCT does not have the capacity to implement these recommendations, we can create different pathways for direct admissions from GP's and other health services, however all the NHSCT are going to do is create different entries into the same crowed hospital, 90% of all delays at Antrim are because there are no beds.
Save The Mid totally reject the recommendation for another Senior Executive to be appointed within the NHSCT, there are already enough highly paid mangers for managers.
What the reports does not contain is how the Trust have got into such difficulties, they why are we seeing these problems, Save The Mid fully believe this is a direct consequence of the removal of services at the Mid Ulster Hospital site, it was stated in a risk assessment 5 years ago that Antrim would not be able to cope if they shut the mid down and this is what we have seen. This was a decision made by government and thus the government should be held accountable for. This report shows that lack of capacity in all areas and a breakdown of communication, these are simple risk assessments that any business like the Trust should be able to plan and manage. These are routine failures of routine procedures; if the NHSCT cannot plan for the future then they should not be there.
Already in the space of a year the NHSCT has passed a new A&E at Antrim that is not big enough yet will help, a new mental health ward that is too small to meet their own projections and a new neonatal unit that is 5 years late in making and already to small by health and safety standards, where else in the UK would such bad forward planners get away with, this is why we are seeing these problems that Rutter & Hinds have published.
As with NI Water, when the detriment of a service led to a public Health & Safety concern, the CEO stepped down, Save The Mid believe that the same should happen within the NHSCT and Sean Donaghy should either step down or be removed from his position. In conjunction with this John Compton position AS CEO of the HSCB and his current review should be halted in the NHSCT until such time that management and services are stabilised to bring about any more reconfigurations.
Hugh McCloy - statement "The Mid Ulster Hospital must now be considered to have services returned to it, and have this supported by Mid Ulster MLA's & the district councils, they have sat behind the fence long enough, Mid Ulster patients have travelled too far to be treated worse than they would of been if Mid Ulster Hospital was still open, these changes that were made in the name of patient safety have been proved wrong again. How many reports, deaths and instances of breaches of human dignity will it take until someone is held accountable for the mess they have left our health service in? if our MLA's who include the Deputy First Minister cannot hold them accountable the serious question has to be asked , Who Will??"
If you can highlight these recommendations this is what people need to know, the government were already advise and asked to do this, these were submitted to the health minister, Compton, health committee and mla's they didn’t respond
1. Mid Ulster hospital to have its statues of 9am to 11pm A&E restored, with ambulance bypass protocols from 2006 brought into effectiveness.
2. Minor Injury status to be introduced from the hours of 11pm to 9am, a bypass protocol will need to be developed with the NHSCT and NIAS.
3. Doctor on call based in Moneymore to provide backup cover for the A&E and Minor Injury Unit.
4. The High Dependency Unit to be bedded and re-staffed in order to receive, if any, patients admitted from A&E.
5. The decision to remove the High Dependency Unit to be question by the Health Committee as the risk assessment in 2006 specifically states this unit to remain as part of the critical care network.
6. Ward 2 to be restored, this will alleviate bed pressures at other network hospital’s & also provide beds for those admitted from A&E.
7. Ward 3 to be restored, the current plan to close Thompson house will leave a major bed shortage across the each Health Trust, Ward 3 to be reopened for these patients. Having these patients in Ward 3 will also combat the pressure on services such as NIAS to deliver patients for Xray scans.
8. Thompson house to gain several consultant based clinics that are ear marked to be placed in the main hospital building, with the consultants also being rotated as cover for the A&E and High Dependency Unit.
9. That Dr Maurice Hayes is made available for questioning by the Health Committee on Developing Better Services.
10. For every manager or director involved in the rundown of services to be prevented from taking part in any further review into health in Northern Ireland.