Trust hits back at Daisy Hill warning
Tuesday, 22 January 2013
INVESTMENT in Daisy Hill Hospital flies in the face of fears that it faces "terminal decline".
That's the message from Southern Health and Social Care Trust Chief Executive, Mairead McAlinden. She has hit back at claims made by SDLP councillor Connaire McGreevy regarding the Transforming Your Care (TYC) proposals. As reported on the Democrat's front page last week, Mr McGreevy has warned that implementation of TYC as it stands could prove "catastrophic" for Daisy Hill.
“The figures speak for themselves. While £34m has been earmarked for continued development and expansion of Craigavon, only £12m has been put in the cash kitty for Daisy Hill," he said, adding that the hospital is at risk of heading down "a one-way death care pathway".
But, pointing to a £1m upgrade of the hospital's heating infrastructure, a £500,000 renovation of the Outpatient Department, and just under £1m refurbishment of the Emergency Department, Ms McAlinden said more investment is on the horizon.
“A modernisation of the Pharmacy is underway, further refurbishment to the Emergency Department is due to be completed by the summer and a £4.7m upgrade to Theatres is planned for the next financial year," she said.
Stipulating that TYC demands that hospitals operate in a more integrated and networked way, the Trust boss said it is working to ensure delivery of "the right care in the right place" and to reduce hospital admissions that could be avoided if alternatives were in place.
“Southern Trust hospitals already operate in a networked approach, making the best use of infrastructure and skills across our acute sites and Daisy Hill is a key part of this network," she said.
“For example Daisy Hill provides the renal service for the Southern area, and the arrangement to link the High Dependency Unit in Daisy Hill with the Intensive Care Unit in Craigavon, enabled by new technology, has proved very successful. Daisy Hill has also led the way by embracing a new telemedicine service to assess stroke patients more quickly and allow for faster access to vital clot dissolving drugs.
“As a Queens University Teaching Hospital and, having been recognised as one of the top 40 acute hospitals in the UK at the prestigious CHKS awards, the local population and elected representatives should be reassured of the quality of care provided by our staff at Daisy Hill, supported by the Trust."
Ms McAlinden added that, while health and social care services "will always be changing to reflect the changing needs of our population, new standards of care and safety, and workforce challenges", the Draft Strategic Implementation Plan for Transforming Your Care "very clearly sets out that the existing hospital network model in the Southern Trust is to be supported and encouraged".
“Further sensible changes would be expected to maximise its effectiveness," she said.
“I am confident that our services can continue to develop to provide sustainable, high quality and safe hospital care."
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