Children’s ward shake-up

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Children’s ward shake-up thumbnailThe Trust has opened a public consultation on the future of paediatric services. CC49-90s

HEALTH chiefs have proposed an end to overnight stays at Causeway Hospital's Children's ward.
The Northern Trust says current arrangements are unsustainable because of low bed occupancy rates and over-reliance on expensive locum doctors.
Instead it suggests establishing a short-stay unit operating late into the night and at weekends, plus an "enhanced ambulance transfer service" to Antrim.
The proposal is contained in a consultation document on "a future model for acute paediatric services in Northern Trust hospitals" published last week. The public have until the end of February to contribute their views.
In-patient paediatric services are currently provided at Antrim Area and the Causeway Hospitals. There are 26 beds in Antrim and 13 in Coleraine.
The document says services in Antrim are "secure with a largely permanent staff" but Coleraine's bed occupancy rate is just 37 per cent which the Trust says is unsustainable.
“This means that opportunities for experiential learning are restricted, making it difficult for medical and nursing staff to maintain experience and expertise over a sufficiently broad caseload," the document says.
The authors point out newly qualified doctors and nurses typically wish to work in large, busier specialist units and, as a result, Causeway has found it difficult to attract staff.
*Read the full story in this week's Chronicle


Subscribe to read full newspaper »

Send to a friend

Please complete the following form to inform a friend about this page.

In order to process your information we must ask you to enter the letters in the image into the box:

CAPTCHA Image play audio version Reload Image

* Mandatory field - please complete