Members of the Regional Task Force on Emergency Care, led by the Chief Medical Officer Michael McBride and Chief Nursing Officer Charlotte McArdle, provided a briefing to the Health Committee today (14th January) on efforts to alleviate pressures on Emergency Departments and enhance patient flow throughout the hospital system. Michael Bloomfield, Director of Performance Management and Corporate Service with the Health and Social Care Board, and Jackie Johnston from the DHSSPS also gave evidence to the Health Committee this afternoon as part of the panel.
The Task Force gave an overview of recent pressures facing Emergency Departments and GP Out of Hours Services. They also provided details of Trust escalation plans put in place, as part of normal planning, to address the challenges.
A copy of the presentation submitted to the Health Committee is available on the Health and Social Care Board website.
The presentation contains details of:
The public can play a role in helping to ease the burden on busy emergency departments by choosing the best service to help them. Many common ailments can be treated effectively through self-care at home or by seeking advice from your local pharmacist; however those with serious concerns about their health should of course always consult their GP or an Out-of-hours service such as Minor Injury Units or GP Out-of-Hours. Emergency and 999 services are for life threatening and serious conditions. By choosing the right care for you, this will help ensure that Emergency Departments are used appropriately and ease pressures on the service.
For more information about Choose Well and the range of services available visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/choosewell.