Altnagelvin Hospital has achieved its 100% Emergency Department Target, the Western Trust is delighted to announce. On Friday 12 September the Hospital reached its own target of seeing and treating, admitting or discharging every Emergency Department patient in ‘no more than 4’ hours.
Friday 12 September was no quieter than any other typical day at the hospital. In a 24 hour period, commencing at 12 midnight on Thursday 11 September, the Emergency Department treated 160 patients, 111 were discharged home after treatment. The remaining 49 patients were admitted for further investigations and medical interventions. This was all achieved within four hours of the person arriving at the hospital.
The Minister for Health, Edwin Poots telephoned the hospital after midnight to congratulate the staff who delivered this performance, and said that it was an example to the rest of Northern Ireland. Speaking directly to staff and patients in the Emergency Department, the Minister expressed his deep appreciation for a tremendous team effort.
Expressing her delight, Director of Acute Services of the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust), Geraldine McKay said: “As a Trust we are committed to improving the patient experience in the hospital. On Friday 12 September 2014 we embarked upon a very ambitious challenge in Altnagelvin Hospital to ensure that 100% of patients presenting at the hospital’s Emergency Department were able to complete their emergency care pathway within four hours of arrival.
“I am so proud that we have succeeded in achieving our goal. The success of Altnagelvin’s Emergency Department depends on a ‘whole hospital’ approach and working in partnership with community services. The Emergency Department cannot reach this standard of care for our patients without the entire range of services working together as a team. I want to acknowledge the tremendous effort and dedication of each service area and department in the hospital and in our community services. I would also like to thank the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for their support on the day, we could not of achieved this without them.”
Mrs McKay, added: “Improving emergency and unscheduled care for our patients is very much work in progress and we will now take the time to evaluate every aspect of what went well - and not so well - on the day. The learning we gain from this experience will help us better understand how our systems, processes and people work, so that we can ultimately provide our patients with the best access to our services via the Emergency Department and the best quality of emergency care.”
Dr Ying Kuan, Divisional Clinical Director at the Western Trust, said: “This is the first time Altnagelvin has achieved 100% against this important patient care standard. It took a lot of planning to give ourselves the best possible chance of succeeding and ultimately it was only possible through every member of staff involved working hard as one team on the day.”
Isobel McClintock, Emergency Department Manager at Altnagelvin Hospital said: “I’m delighted with how our Emergency Department and entire hospital worked together. Staff morale was particularly high and we were absolutely determined to do everything possible to meet this challenge. As patient flow worked well throughout the hospital, we had more time to spend with each patient. It shows us what is possible if we all play our part to make patient flow work really well and to improve the quality of care to our patients.”