Sinn Féin MLA Philip McGuigan has welcomed the additional resources provided by the Health Minister for the Health Service to help combat unscheduled care and Winter pressures on the service.
Mr. McGuigan’s comments come after a response from the Minister to his question in the Assembly Chamber today
The North Antrim MLA said:
“The Winter months bring additional stress on the Health Service so I welcome the early preparations of Minister O’Neill and the additional resources. An extra £13 million has been allocated for unscheduled care and winter pressures. That funding is to be invested in a number of areas to improve patient flow in unscheduled care, including winter pressures, capacity expansion on acute sites and staffing in emergency departments.
“I particularly welcome that the Northern Trust, which covers my constituency of North Antrim, will receive an extra £1·697 million, and some of it will be used to increase capacity for short-stay, fast turnaround for appropriate patients who come to the emergency departments in the Antrim and Causeway hospitals. This includes the development of a direct assessment unit in the Causeway Hospital to enhance assessment and capacity and to improve emergency department flow. Other measures at Causeway include improved discharge processes and increased pharmacy support.
“I also welcome the comments of the Minister that measures outside the hospital setting include expanding the trust’s nurse “in reach” service, improving access to starting new domiciliary care packages at the weekend, managing the community rehabilitation bed-based services and working with care homes to ensure that there is capacity for short stays as well as long-term placements over the winter period. “END