The Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) has said that the two independent reports on acute services at Antrim Hospital, within the Northern Health and Social Care Trust area, raise a number of serious issues which require urgent action.
Both reviews were commissioned by the HSCB in January 2012, with the terms of reference agreed with the Northern Trust, as part of the Board’s performance management strategy to improve patient waiting times and the overall ‘patient experience’ at Antrim Hospital.
The review conducted by Mrs Mary Hinds, Director of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals, Public Health Agency, focused on the unscheduled care pathway for patients from admission in Antrim hospital. The second review conducted by Dr Ian Rutter, OBE, focused primarily on the relationship between the Northern Trust and GPs and the Primary Care sector.
The reports will help inform the work of the Emergency Department (ED) Improvement Action Group, established by the HSCB, following the Minister’s announcement in March this year, to improve the quality of care in EDs across Northern Ireland. The HSCB will be reporting to the Department and Minister on this work in late June.
The HSCB Chief Executive, John Compton, said:
“Both reports highlight a number of serious issues within Antrim Hospital which clearly have had a detrimental impact on some patients’ experiences and care. However, I welcome the key recommendations in the reports aimed at improving the performance of hospital services and also the overall patient journey.
“It is essential that these recommendations are now implemented. We have requested that the Northern Trust put in place a full action plan, which we now have received, to address the issues raised in the report with immediate effect.
“We will be discussing the reports and action plan with HSCB Board members at the public meeting on Thursday 31st May and with the Department of Health as appropriate.”