Trust u-turn as fracture clinic
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
IN a dramatic turn of events, the Southern Trust yesterday confirmed that outpatient fracture clinics will continue at Daisy Hill Hospital.
Last week it was revealed that the Southern Trust will move orthopaedic surgery from Belfast to Craigavon this summer as part of a £4 million investment into services.
The change also meant that outpatient services which currently take place in Daisy Hill, would be moved to Craigavon Area Hospital.
Political representatives and trade unions voiced concerns that patients in the Southern Trust area would have to travel to Craigavon for outpatient services in the fracture unit.
On Friday, Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon said: "I have contacted the Southern Trust and been informed that the current arrangement, in which fractures requiring surgery are treated in Belfast with follow up treatment in Daisy Hill Hospital, is to cease over the coming months, with all services delivered in Craigavon Area Hospital.
“The fact that such a move may have been taken without adequate public consultation and engagement with local representatives in the area is deeply concerning."
South Down MP Margaret Ritchie described the proposed withdrawal as a "slap in the face" to people in the area, adding: "This latest plan for a cut in services will impact upon people in the entire southern section of Down and is merely another example of centralisation when, what should be happening is a decentralisation of services. Instead, services in our local health care sector are be stripped away."
However on Monday, in a statement to the Democrat, the Health and Social Care Board confirmed that outpatient fracture clinics will remain at Daisy Hill, saying it is committed to the provision of locally accessible trauma and orthopaedic services.
A spokesperson for the Southern Trust said: "Fracture services to the Newry and Mourne population are currently provided by the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust. Fracture surgery is carried out in Belfast, with follow up out-patient clinics held in Daisy Hill by clinical staff from Belfast.
“With the additional investment in local fracture services, people living in Newry and Mourne will have their surgery in the purpose built fracture unit at Craigavon Area Hospital.
“We welcome the HSCB's agreement to provide the resources so that outpatient clinics will continue to be run at Daisy Hill, by the clinical team from Craigavon Area Hospital. The changes take place during the summer.
“There is no change for patients needing emergency treatment following a suspected fracture - patients will continue to attend the Emergency Department at DHH for immediate assessment and treatment."
Welcoming the development, Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady said: "I am now satisfied that fracture services at Daisy Hill will remain and that local people will not have to travel unnecessary distances for follow up fracture treatment."
SDLP MLA Dominic Bradley added: "I had lobbied the Trust on this issue along with SDLP South Down MP Margaret Ritchie and South Down MLAs Karen McKevitt and Seán Rogers to have the clinic retained in Newry, especially considering this is an important service for South Armagh and South Down.
"It would have been wrong to expect people to travel, in some cases, 40 miles to attend a fracture clinic given that quite often, the patients involved are in the older age group and additional travel time would only add to the stress of their condition.
"I welcome the fact that good sense has prevailed and that the fracture review service will remain at Daisy Hill."
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