Lurgan Hospital looks set to be dealt another blow with the loss of more services.
It’s been proposed to relocate non-acute inpatient services to Craigavon Hospital.
The Southern Trust has begun a four month consultation process on where inpatient non-acute hospital services for older people should be provided in future.
The consultation process is to agree a clear plan for these key services, while recognising it will be two to three years before there will be any major changes in how the services are organised.
Inpatient non-acute hospital services are currently provided at Lurgan Hospital, Loane House, South Tyrone Hospital, Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital.
The Trust is proposing that all acute and non-acute hospital in-patient care should be provided at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Hospitals. Day assessment, rehabilitation and other outpatient services will continue to be provided at the day hospitals at South Tyrone and Lurgan Hospital.
Explaining the plans, Trust Chief Executive Mairead McAlinden said: “The principle behind our proposals is that, regardless of age, everyone has the same right to the expert health care they need. It is our plan that whenever anyone needs health or social care they will be treated in the right place, by the most appropriate person and in a timely and compassionate way.
“Through the development of community services, day hospitals and engagement with local communities many illnesses that were previously treated in hospital can now be managed in the community.
“Increasingly, hospital stays are for a short, acute illness or injury with ongoing specialist care provided outside hospital.
“But when older people do need to be in hospital, it should be provided in a high quality environment by an expert team of health professionals with access to all the necessary diagnostics, specialist knowledge and care.
“We are simply not able to provide the same immediate access to all of these services in Loane House and Lurgan Hospital and we need to ensure that the same quality of care is available to our older population as it is to the rest of the population who need acute hospital care.
A wide range of services will remain on the Lurgan Hospital site she said.