Northern Trust delighted with Emergency Department statistics

The Northern Trust is delighted that the recent Emergency Department (ED) waiting time statistics show a reduction in patients waiting for treatment at our Emergency Departments.

Olive MacLeod, Director of Nursing and User Experience at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said,

“The Trust has worked with primary care colleagues to introduce a range of measures to reduce waiting times at our EDs and will continue to work with them to ensure that patients who need emergency treatment get access to this as quickly as possible.

“A whole system approach has been used, meaning all activity is not solely focused on the ED but on improving patient flow throughout the hospital to create capacity for ED admission.

“We have set up set up an acute medical assessment unit for GPs direct admission. GPs can now speak directly with medical staff at the Assessment Unit in Antrim Area Hospital to receive specialist advice and, if required, to arrange for a referral to the Unit for assessment, diagnostics and management.

“As well as contact for urgent assessment, there is availability to a Rapid Access Medical Clinic. This is a service for patients who do not require same day assessment but do require a review and assessment within one or two days.

“We have also focused staffing on discharge at weekends; introduced patient tracker roles in the emergency departments to support clinical teams in maintaining a focus in all patient journeys to minimise delays where possible; increased social work presence in acute sites, especially weekend cover to allow quicker discharge of patients from hospital and expanded hospital diversion nursing teams, delivering acute nursing in a home setting, such as blood transfusions or IV antibiotics”.

While the Trust has made changes which are having a positive impact on patient care, the next few months will be vital in our preparation for the winter ahead.

26th July 2013

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