At the February meeting of the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB), members approved the permanent relocation of the Dalriada Urgent Care service from Moneymore to the Mid Ulster Hospital, Magherafelt.
The proposal to relocate the service was supported by Dalriada Urgent Care (DUC) and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT). During a public consultation, which ran from 14 August until 11 December 2017, the HSCB, DUC and the NHSCT engaged with a range of local people including service users, GPs, elected representatives, voluntary and professional organisations.
Forty seven responses were received, the large majority of which expressed general agreement that the proposed permanent relocation should move ahead.
Currently, patients who are required to attend an appointment at an out of hours centre before midnight attend the Moneymore premises. After midnight patients are seen in the Mid Ulster Hospital. Today’s decision will allow plans to commence to relocate all GP Out of Hours’ attendances from the Mid Ulster area to the Mid Ulster Hospital site.
There are a number of advantages to relocating to the Mid Ulster Hospital;
• Dalriada Urgent Care can move directly into the Mid Ulster Hospital with only minimal adaptations required and no disruption to the GP out of hours’ service.
• The Mid Ulster Hospital site is accessible, outside lighting is good and there is ample parking for patients out of hours.
• Moving the out of hours’ service into the Mid Ulster Hospital helps utilise the site as a hub for local services.
• The relocation of DUC to the Mid Ulster Hospital is in keeping with the Mid Ulster Community Plan commitment to co-locate health and well-being services in each of the three main towns (which includes Magherafelt).
• Closer working between DUC and the Northern Health and Social Care Trust may open up other opportunities for joint projects and collaboration to benefit local communities.
Following the Board meeting, Dr Miriam McCarthy, Director of Commissioning, HSCB, said: “I would like to thank everyone who took the time to contribute during the consultation period. The relocation of GP Out of Hours’ attendances to the Mid Ulster Hospital site has many advantages and we will now work with our colleagues to ensure a smooth and timely transition.”
The GP out of hours’ service is for people who need urgent medical treatment but cannot wait until their doctor’s practice is open. There are no plans to change DUC’s current service which also includes initial advice over the phone and home visits, as appropriate.
Further information about the consultation can be accessed in the consultation section of the HSCB’s website http://www.hscboard.hscni.net/get-involved/previous-consultations/proposed-relocation-duc/