Altnagelvin casualty- lifeline for north west

Altnagelvin Hospital.
Altnagelvin Hospital.
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The casualty ward at Altnagelvin Hospital is to undergo a major redesign after a cash injection of almost £500,000 was endorsed this week.

The Western Health and Social Care Board have given the go-ahead for the major refurbishment business case presented at their June meeting on Thursday.

The plans will see the physical re-development and modification of the Accident and Emergency wing of the hospital, in a bid to improve minor and major injury and paediatric pathways with the department.

It follows an external review of emergency department services undertaken by the Greater Manchester Commissioning Support Unit.

The review resulted in a the development of an action plan to improve and sustain A&E performance as measured by the four hour benchmark.

One of the key actions identified was reconfiguring the existing department to support more effective throughput of patients.

Geraldine McKay, newly installed permanent director of Acute Services, told the board meeting that the new refurbishment would include the relocation of reception services to provide clear lines of view of the entire waiting area.

There will also be an increased in seats to 52 and the main waiting area will be redecorated with additional toilets.

Three new cubicles will be installed to deal with children, and there will also be the creation of a sub-waiting area along with a new exit for children and those with minor injuries.

The former paeds unit will be redesigned to become a new Minor Injuries Unit.

The construction work to redesign the ward will cost £484,000 with a minimal additional revenue impact of £1,355 per annum.

Non-executive board member Joan Doherty said at the meeting that the funding being allocated for the new refurbishment project was “value for money”.

It also emerged at Thursday’s meeting that a delegation from the Western Trust recently travelled to University Hospital, Galway and that a partnership is being developed with Altnagelvin Hospital.

Meanwhile the Western Trust was also said to have cleaned up at the recent Nurse of the Year awards, with several members of staff picking up awards.

Outgoing Western Health and Social Care Trust chairman Gerard Guckian said: “It is clear our nurses are leading the way in delivering personal and passionate care.