Hospital A&E plans move forward
THE Health Minister, Edwin Poots, has signed off on plans by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to extend the opening hours at the Accident and Emergency Department of the Lagan Valley Hospital.
Mr Poots has also given the Trust the go ahead to draw up a business case for a new million pound extension to the A&E to allow for the co-location of the out of hours GP service.
Both plans are part of the scheme to provide 24 hour access at the Lisburn hospital following a high profile campaign after the opening hours at the A&E were drastically restricted due to a lack of middle grade doctors.
Mr Poots said beginning “almost immediately” the A&E department would open at 8am rather than 9am.
He continued: “In terms of the out of hours service, it is the intention to build an extension to the A&E at a cost of around £500,000 to £1 million.
“Work on the business case for the extension will begin immediately so that 24 hour access can be up and running as early as possible.”
The Minister went on to say: “In the interim, the hospital will be developing closer working relationships between the out of hours GP service and the nursing staff to allow further development of direct admissions.
“This will be of particular benefit when elderly people can be admitted to the hospital without going through an emergency department.
“The proposal will also see more senior doctors on site, with five-six middle grade doctors where there are currently four. There will also be consultant grades available every day and at least two evenings a week,” he added.
A spokesperson for the South Eastern Trust said the current interim measures had been working well at the hospital.
“The interim model is working extremely well,” she said.
“Lagan Valley is now seeing the same number of medical admissions as in the year before the changes were made, and Emergency department attendances are at 88% of the previous level, against an expectation of 70%.”
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Weather for Lisburn
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
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