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Patient increase highest at Daisy Hill

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Patient increase highest at Daisy Hill thumbnailFrancis Gallagher at the meeting

DAISY Hill Hospital had the highest rise in Emergency Department attendances (591) in December when compared to the same period in 2015.

There were 4,565 patients admitted into the Newry hospital in December, while there were 3,974 the year previous. This represents the highest rise out of all the hospitals in Northern Ireland.

The Department of Health released the figures in its emergency care waiting time statistics report, which provided information on time spent waiting in Emergency Departments for both new and unplanned review attendances in Northern Ireland between October 1 and December 31 2016.

The report revealed that there was also a drop in Daisy Hill's four hour performance. In December 2015, 85.7% of patients were admitted and discharged from the hospital within four hours but that dropped to 66.1% in 2016.

Also in December 2016, 33.9% of patients waited for over four hours for care after attending Daisy Hill's Emergency Department.

Chairperson of Daisy Hill Action Group Francis Gallagher, believes the hospital should be given extra resources to deal with the increase in patients.

“The Southern Trust Hospital network is supposed to be a federation, which means that all doctors, junior doctors, middle grade doctors and senior consultants, should be shared equally through the Southern Trust Hospital Network," said Mr Gallagher.

“Overall figures for Daisy Hill have went up, and the question needs to be asked whether Daisy Hill is being given its fair share of resources from this network?

“Staff are doing a very difficult job under an awful lot of pressure. They're working to the best of their abilities but they need resources to help them to do that."

Mr Gallagher also believes that the rise in patient figures makes a good argument for a new acute hospital for the whole border region.

“We've written to the Minister for Health in the South, Simon Harris, with a view to having a meeting with him to discuss the possibility of collaborating with Daisy Hill on a cross-border basis, in terms of getting a new acute Hospital for the cross-border region," explained Mr Gallagher.

“You never know what the future holds, what with Brexit and what not, all these things present opportunities but the fact that there's increased numbers using Daisy Hill would strengthen our argument I think."

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