Changes to the Ambulatory Paediatric Service at South Tyrone Hospital
11/11/2014The Paediatric Ambulatory Unit in South Tyrone Hospital will temporarily reduce its opening hours from 17 November 2014, to 9am to 1pm, Monday to Friday, ensuring that the Southern Trust is still able to provide a daily service at South Tyrone.
Chief Executive Mairead McAlinden says: “The Trust is working towards achieving a break-even financial position this year and we had already put in place plans to save £6m by March 2015. In his statement to the Assembly on 14 October, the Health Minister set out the need for additional savings from each Trust to achieve financial balance by March 2015. For this Trust, the additional savings required is £2.9 million and we have set out the service reductions and workforce controls we need to implement to achieve this. While delivering these savings continues to be extremely challenging, we continue to focus resources on maintaining front line services.”
Paul Morgan, Director of Children and Young People’s Services at the Trust, explains: “The Ambulatory Paediatric Service at South Tyrone Hospital is used by 35 children each week, on average, who need a short period of observation or treatment and don’t require an overnight stay.
“The Service provides care and treatment to children with reflux, feeding problems or poor weight gain, gastrointestinal problems, jaundice, rashes and assistance for children with complex needs to avert the need of a visit by a Community Children’s Nurse. Children with complex needs and long term conditions who have direct access to the unit can continue to be seen in the morning at South Tyrone Hospital. Alternatively, children can be seen at Craigavon Area Hospital in the afternoon.
“The consultant-led morning outpatient clinics and paediatric surgery at the hospital remain unchanged. We will also move dental surgery for children to Daisy Hill Hospital.”
The Paediatric Advice Lines for GPs and health and social care staff will also continue to be accessible at the Paediatric Ambulatory Wards at Craigavon Area Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital. The lines provide specialist advice, referral for immediate assessment, referral to an emergency department or an appointment in the unit within 24 hours.
Mr Morgan adds: “Through re-organising services and managing staffing cover, we hope that the impact of the reduction can be minimised as far as possible. However, there is a potential for increased patient flow to Craigavon and Daisy Hill Ambulatory Paediatric Services, or indeed to both Emergency Departments and we will monitor this closely.”