Pathfinder being looked at with ‘envy’

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

THE Daisy Hill Hospital Pathfinder Project is being looked at with "envy" by other health bodies as it was unanimously approved at Thursday's Southern Trust board meeting.

It is now hoped that the implementation phase of the project will begin on March 18.

The report was previously endorsed by the Emergency Care Regional Collaborative on January 5, and the Transformation Implementation Group on January 24.

In what was a very positive meeting, it was also heard that the £4.1million needed to fund the project will be made available, according to Acting Chief Executive of the Trust, Stephen McNally.

Addressing the Trust board, Medical Director Dr Richard Wright expressed his excitement that the project is now complete and how proud he was of the work carried out by Project Director Dr Anne Marie Telford and her team.

Dr Wright also revealed that health bodies from the Republic of Ireland are heading north to view the Pathfinder Project, such is its success.

"I'm very excited about this because of the way we have gone about it, involving the local community," he said. "It's not normally done like this and it's the right way forward.

"I'm very proud of the work done by the whole team. I have no doubt that the model will give us a sustainable way of care for the foreseeable future.

"The millions of pounds will be a great investment into the area. You can't do it on the cheap but what we have delivered is a model that's safe and sustainable.

"It's being looked at with some envy by other groups and groups from the Republic of Ireland are coming up to look at this."

Looking back at the crisis that had hit Daisy Hill's Emergency Department almost a year ago, Dr Wright went on to say that it simply wasn't possible to close the facility as it would have created pressures in other hospitals across Northern Ireland.

Thankfully, the Pathfinder Project will soon be in the implementation phase, as the previous model of healthcare was simply unsustainable, Dr Wright continued.

"About a year ago there were a number of concerns about the ability to sustain Daisy Hill's Emergency Department, particularly around the levels of staffing," he explained.

"It was proving difficult to secure short term cover at nights and we had exhausted all of our options and we were concerned at how we would find the cover.

"We put into place plans incase we had to close. We lost two senior members of staff through retirement and a couple left because of the level of responsibility, it was such a big burden, and they could not continue.

"It was quite a serious situation and there was a real possibility that might of happened but because of the volume and intensity of work it wasn't possible to keep the same model."

Outlining her satisfaction at the Pathfinder Project Chair of the Trust board, Roberta Brownlee added: "This has been very well managed in such a short space of time. Many people have worked very hard to get to where we are.

"Stakeholder groups were very complimentary to Dr Anne Marie Telford and her team."


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