The head of the health department dropped into Craigavon hospital to meet staff and hear about key developments in the Southern Health Trust.
The Permanent Secretary to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Richard Pengelly was told about developments in Paediatrics, Mental Health, Older People’s and Acute Services.
Southern Trust, Chief Executive (Interim) Paula Clarke said: “The Southern Trust is committed to continuously improving our services to ensure we deliver safe, high quality care in a caring and compassionate way. We are delighted to showcase some of our new developments to the Permanent Secretary such as our PARIS Community Information System which by providing a fuller profile of each patient in a way that can be shared between community and hospital services, is helping to improve safety and avoid patients having to repeat the same information to different teams.
“Mr Pengelly also saw how we are making Transforming Your Care a reality through for example, our new Acute Care at Home service which brings a wide range of traditional hospital treatments to patients in their own homes helping to prevent stressful and disruptive Emergency Admissions for many older people and also through our Nurse-led Paediatric Decision Unit which provides a wide range of treatments for children and young people that avoids them having to stay overnight hospital where possible.”
Mr Pengelly was updated on the £14.5m development of hospital services for children and young people which includes a centralised £7.9m unit for all planned paediatric surgery at Daisy Hill and a £6.6m new paediatric unit at Craigavon. He also visited the Bluestone Unit which offers inpatient care for people with mental health issues and learning disabilities.
Mrs Clarke added: “We really welcome the support Mr Pengelly has shown, particularly as we move into our very busy autumn/winter period. Despite rising demand and ongoing financial pressures, Southern Trust staff continue to demonstrate dedication to their patients and clients. Staff greatly appreciated the opportunity to highlight to the Permanent Secretary the excellent care they deliver every day as well as the challenges they face. For example, in our Emergency Departments, Mr Pengelly saw first-hand the demands on our team to care for a growing number of patients as well as the range of initiatives we have in place to help ensure that everyone is treated as quickly and safely as possible.”
Mr Richard Pengelly said: “The Acute Care at Home service and the Nurse led Paediatric Decision unit are excellent examples service transformation and represent the road map for the future provision of health care to people in their homes, helping to alleviate pressure in our emergency departments. I was also delighted to be updated on the multi-million pound planned investments in the new paediatric units at Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital. Despite the range of competing pressures and priorities across the whole Health and Social Care sector it’s important to see continued investment in the provision of high quality, modern and efficient services that help meet increasing demand.”