Health Minister challenged over community care

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Lisburn Councillor Robbie Butler has challenged the Health Minister “to release more individual community care packages for the constituency which would in turn ease the pressure on acute beds in the Lagan Valley Hospital.”

Mr Butler said that ultimately one of the practical ways to tackle the waiting list crisis in the health service was to introduce more individual care in the community packages. “More of these individual care packages are needed for Lagan Valley to relieve the pressure on acute beds in our Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn,” he said. “The individual care packages work by assessing the specific needs which a patient would require after receiving their operation or treatment in an acute hospital. The care packages can be designed so that these needs are met by the person being cared for in their own home, or in a nearby nursing home. The cost would be paid for by the health service. Practically, it means that people can get back into their own communities and be cared for in those communities rather than occupying hospital beds over a number of weeks. By caring for people in the community itself, leads to much-needed acute hospital beds being made available for future patients, especially those on the waiting lists.