18 May 2022

Western Trust say that technology will play greater role in our new-look health service

Trust chiefs speak about biggest lessons learned over the past three months


Altnagelvin Hospital.

The Western Trust has revealed that health care services will look ‘very different’ as the system rebuilds after the ‘first peak’ of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health and social care services in Derry will begin to reset throughout the month of June.

Services will have to take account of new ways of working which must be safely implemented in line with social distancing, use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection prevention and control requirements.

Preparation is underway to build a safe working environment for staff, patients and visitors.

Stage 1 will focus on strong community services for frail and older people and on the impact the pandemic has had on mental health.

Face to face contact is gradually being introduced in the treatment of mental health patients and the Trust will be working closely with the community and voluntary sectors.

Speaking at a media briefing today, Western Trust Chief Executive Dr Anne Kilgallen thanked staff, patients and the general public for their support throughout.

She made it clear that hospital services will ‘look different’ moving forward and asked for feedback on areas where the public feel improvements can be made.

Infection rates are low at present but she urged everyone in the community to continue playing their part by adhering to social distancing guidelines and maintaining hand hygiene or else ‘we will very quickly find ourselves at increased risk of infection’.

Geraldine McKay, Director of Acute Hospitals, said that Altnagelvin Hospital had no COVID patients today.

At a board meeting yesterday, it was announced that no COVID patients were admitted to the hospital on June 10 or 11.

Urgent and emergency care is under review and Ambulatory Care has been reinstated to reduce footfall through the emergency department.

Intensive care will be converted back to pre-COVID status which will mean 10 ICU beds at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Nee patient referrals are being prioritised in cancer services and reviewing patients whose chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment was paused or deferred during the pandemic.

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