SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan has welcomed the Department of Health’s acknowledgement of the need for improved Emergency Department for Altnagelvin.
In a response to a question asked by Mr Durkan during Assembly Question Time, Health Minister Swann confirmed that the Western Trust are currently working on a business case to extend and improve the current ED provision.
The Department has also currently overseeing a clinically-led review of urgent and emergency care across the North to establish a sustained regional care model for next 10 to 15 years. It is expected that an initial report will be ready for Ministerial consideration early this year.
The Foyle MLA commented:
“The colossal pressures faced by our emergency departments and their lengthy waiting times, are all too apparent. Nowhere is the impact of those difficulties felt more so than the Western Trust.
“We have more people attending Emergency Departments- waiting longer and longer for treatment. Targets are practically non-existent at present, the pressures on the system are so severe that they’re currently unachievable. Every quarterly report we are presented with worsening first-response and emergency care waiting times. In the last quarter, thousands of patients waited over 12 hours in A&E to be seen and the gargantuan strain on the ambulance service particularly in the North West has been well documented. Our heroic health workers have been incredible in the delivery of care during these extremely challenging circumstances. We need to deliver a service fit for purpose and that begins with delivery for first response and emergency healthcare.
“I am pleased the Department are committed to the much needed transformation of the health and care system. As part of this process WHSCT has been developing a business case for a £110 million investment in the extension and improvement of Altnagelvin. This will include theatres, the accident and emergency department and the out-patient department.”
“I am glad that the Minister has witnessed first-hand the considerable burden currently plaguing the Emergency Department at Altnagelvin and the urgent need for improved provision. I am hopeful that the Executive will support the financial bid for this project. Our hospitals, their departments and their staff must be properly resourced to ensure the delivery of effective healthcare.”