The Southern Trust’s acute hospital network which includes Daisy Hill Hospital and Craigavon Hospital has been recognised as one of the top hospitals in UK.

The national CHKS Top 40 Hospitals programme recognises acute sector organisations for their achievements in healthcare quality, improvement and performance.

Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee celebrating with staff at Daisy Hill Hospital. The Southern Trust’s Acute Hospital network (Craigavon Area and Daisy Hill) is the only one in Northern Ireland to be recognised as one of the UK’s Top hospitals for 2018.
Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee celebrating with staff at Daisy Hill Hospital. The Southern Trust’s Acute Hospital network (Craigavon Area and Daisy Hill) is the only one in Northern Ireland to be recognised as one of the UK’s Top hospitals for 2018.

The Top Hospitals award is based on the evaluation of over 20 key performance indicators covering safety, clinical effectiveness, health outcomes, efficiency, patient experience and quality of care.

This year, for the first time all Trusts in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, were considered for the award.  Along with the South Eastern Trust, the Southern Trust was also one of only four nominated from across the UK for a Patient Safety Award.

Congratulating staff on this year’s award, Director of Acute Services for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Esther Gishkori said: “Last year was particularly busy right across the health and social care system. Across Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals, our staff managed 371,537 outpatient appointments, 145,817 Emergency Department attendances, 59,760 inpatient admissions and 5,827 births.

“It is such a credit to our staff, that despite the growing demands and continued challenges they face every day that they are clearly making a huge difference to the health and wellbeing of thousands of local people.

“We are committed to promoting a culture of excellence within the Southern Trust and this recognition can reassure all of our patients, carers and staff that their hospitals are amongst the best in the UK. I would like to pay tribute to every member of staff working in our hospitals who has played an important role in achieving this award and am delighted that their commitment and dedication has been rewarded in this way.”

Expanded X Ray Services

The Southern Trust has also been praised by Newry and Armagh MLA, Justin McNulty who has welcomed services changes by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to expand their X-ray service to a seven days a week.

Mr McNulty said, ‘Our health care system is under real pressure and no matter what service you visit, be that the GP Surgery, Minor Injuries Unit or the Emergency Department.

However, there can often be delays in the system at the Minor Injuries Unit and the Emergency Department because patients are waiting on X-rays.  The availability of radiographers and the X-ray team is something I have previously raised with the Southern Trust, in particular through the Minor Injuries Departments and at weekends.’

‘Over recent weeks the Southern Trust have reshaped its Radiographer Reporting Service for Emergency Departments and Minor Injuries unit on the Craigavon, Daisy Hill and South Tyrone hospital sites.  These services have all been expanded and will now be available from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12.30pm Saturday and Sunday.’

‘These service developments are the first of their kind here and are very welcome.  This approach is quite common in the UK and Republic of Ireland and it’s great that we’re now offering a similar service too.  In recent weeks I called for a fundamental rethink to the way Out of Hours Services, including GP Out of Hours, Minor Injuries and the Emergency Departments, are structured and this is exactly the new approach we need to adopt.’

‘The Southern Trust have said they see this measure as a way of easing pressures on the system and reducing waiting times.  I welcome this initiative and hope it’s the first of many positive developments in our services locally.’

Spotlight on Daisy Hill Hospital

Councillor Pete Byrne also welcomed the decision to award the Southern Trust’s Acute hospital network.

Byrne said, ‘This accolade is recognition of the incredible work carried out by the Southern Trust’s doctors, nurses and general staff across the two hospitals. Over the last decade doctors and nurses across our network have worked in challenging circumstances despite the continued growth in demand for the services provided in both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospital.’

‘This yet again puts the spotlight on Daisy Hill Hospital which in recent years has been threatened with the closure of its services despite the increased pressures and demand on its staff. The Southern Trust recently announced that it has managed 371,537 outpatient appointments and 145,817 Emergency Department attendances in the last year. This is a clear sign that more must be done to help alleviate pressures on staff across the Network.’

‘The pressure on Daisy Hill in particular will soon be addressed when Phase 3 of the Acute Care at Home scheme is rolled which will allow for more patients to be treated at home. This will allow space for the Southern Trust to continue to provide a first class service to its patients when they visit both Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospitals.’

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