Living Well Moyle Newsletter (2nd edition)

9 04 2017

Living Well Moyle

Many thanks to Bronagh McFadden (Community Navigator for Older People Causeway Localiy) and Sam Cunningham (Living Well Moyle Co-ordinator) for their great work on the 2nd Edition of the ‘Living Well Moyle’ Newsletter , the newsletter from the Dalriada Pathfinder Partnership Steering Group.

2nd Edition Living Well Moyle Newsletter





‘Supported Living ‘Unit for Rathmoyle

27 05 2015

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APEX Housing Association has been appointed to take forward the development of the new Residential Accommodation/ Supported Living Unit at Rathmoyle House, Ballycastle.  They are holding a consultation meeting on the proposed scheme on Wednesday 27 May 2015 at 7pm in Rathmoyle Resource Centre, Mary Street, Ballycastle.

This will be an opportunity to hear more about this development and have the opportunity to see the architect’s plans.





Support our Midwives

30 04 2015

RCM

Today members of the Royal College of Midwives  will start industrial action with a four-hour strike from 8am-12pm, along with members of the Society of Radiographers.

This will be followed by further action starting from Friday, 1 May to Thursday, 7 May.

This will consist of RCM members only working overtime if it is agreed they will be paid for it, and taking all the breaks they are entitled to.

This is the first time in its 134-year history that members of the RCM in Northern Ireland have voted to take strike action.

The RCM and its local representatives have been working with hospitals to ensure safe services will be available to women in need of urgent care, such as those in labour.

The action follows the executive’s rejection of the independent NHS Pay Review Body’s (PRB) recommendation of a 1% pay rise last year and no announcement about pay for this year for health and social care (HSC) staff in Northern Ireland.

Agreements on pay have been reached with the governments in England following industrial action, and in Wales following negotiation. The Scottish Government accepted the PRB recommendations in full.

Breedagh Hughes, director for Northern Ireland at the RCM, said: ‘This is not a step that our midwife and maternity support worker members take lightly. They have been treated shoddily by the Executive and employers, who have left them with no alternative but to make a stand.

‘Politicians wonder why the public does not afford them more respect when they deny a very modest pay award to hard working NHS staff. The cost of living is rising sharply and this is set against a history of pay restraint and pay freezes for the staff delivering our vital and valuable healthcare.

‘There is still time to avert this action; to talk, negotiate and reach an agreement. I ask politicians and employers to think of the pressure midwives have been under for years.

‘I ask them to think of the responsibility midwives have every single day, caring for both mother and baby. And I ask them to think how it feels to those same midwives when, despite all that, they are told they aren’t worth a 1% pay rise. Think about all of that, think about the fact that other UK countries have shown they value their staff, and come to the negotiating table.’

She added: ‘Investing in staff is an investment in services and an investment in better care.’

Senior RCM staff and RCM representatives will be on the picket lines and demonstrating at Trusts across Northern Ireland.





Durkan welcomes £300m for dementia research

8 03 2015

Alzheimer'sResearch_Mark Durkan

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has welcomed British Prime Minister David Cameron’s announcement at the weekend that more than £300m is to be spent by the government on research into dementia.

Mr Durkan, who has campaigned both at home and in Westminster in support of the 15,000 people in Northern Ireland affected by dementia, said:

 “I welcome David Cameron’s commitment to provide significant funding in the fight to defeat dementia.

 “I am also pleased to see the launch of a separate multi-million pound fund to help establish an international investment scheme to discover new drugs and treatments that could slow the onset of dementia, or even deliver a cure, by 2025.

 “One in three people over 65 will develop dementia – and therefore this is a health issue that we can no longer afford to ignore.

 “As well as backing Alzheimer Research UK’s global call for action to defeat dementia, I supported last year’s ‘Memory Walk’ in Derry in aid of the Alzheimer Society’s ‘Fighting Dementia Together’ campaign.

 “I have also supported the Alzheimer Society’s ‘Dementia Friends’ campaign which aims to help people with the condition play a fuller role in their communities.

 “Importantly, we need to see additional support for people with dementia and improved diagnosis rates not only here in Derry but throughout the North.”





Save the Dal Campaign Public Meeting – Saturday 7th March Marine Hotel Ballycastle 2.00pm

28 02 2015

 

Save the Dal Campaign Public Meeting – Saturday 7th March Marine Hotel Ballycastle 2.00pm

Save the Dal

  • Campaign Update
  • Feedback from Moyle Council meeting with NHSCT
  • MS Respite – from a carer’s perspective
  • Guest Speaker: Dr Gavin McDonnell  a consultant neurologist who is a specialist in Multiple Sclerosis will deliver a talk on the importance of Respite for MS patients and patients with other neurological conditions.

 Please make every effort to attend

 





Health Minister should halt cuts

30 11 2014

 

Protest Background 2

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has called on the Health Minister to halt the proposed cuts in response to the Chancellor’s announcement of a decision to spend an extra £2 billion on the UK health service.

The South Belfast MLA has called for a halt on proposed cuts this year and next year in the wake of the announcement that the Chancellor will put an extra £2 billion into front-line health services across the UK.
Mr McKinney said:
“This announcement of £2 billion extra funding for the UK Health service could result in the Northern Ireland Health Service receiving up to an extra £60 million.
“We all know of the pressures on the Northern Ireland Health Service is under and if there is any chance of more money, it should be welcomed.
“It is hoped that this extra funding will ease the growing pressures on front-line staff in the health service.
“Mr Wells should halt the cuts planned for this year and next year following this announcement and should rethink the budget once it has been confirmed how much the DHSSPS will receive from this funding.
“I plan to raise this issue as an Urgent Oral Question in the Assembly tomorrow. Patients should not have this uncertainty hanging over them.”





Cunningham brands Dalriada consultation ‘a fudge’

25 11 2014

 Stormont

SDLP Councillor and Chairman of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham has reacted angrily to the announcement of an eight week consultation into the temporary closure of Dalriada Hospital

Cllr Cunningham branded the decision a wasted opportunity and a fudge. He said:

 “I am furious at this decision. It is absolutely ludicrous that a consultation is to be carried out during a period of closure. Health Minister Jim Wells needed to use today’s Assembly debate as his opportunity to reverse the illogical Trust proposal and to maintain current services at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle.

 “We have presented ample evidence of how Dalriada Hospital contributes to the efficiency of the Acute Hospital sector and how it provides a major service to MS patients.

 “I am very disappointed by this decision at a time when the Minister needed to be standing up to the management of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.





‘United Community Prayer’ for the future of Dalriada Hospital

22 11 2014

images[2]

Ballycastle Church Action invites you to the Sheskburn Centre for a ‘United Community Prayer’ for the future of Dalriada Hospital from 6.30pm to 7.00pm on Monday 24 November. Please come in big numbers.





Health Minister must prove he is in charge

9 11 2014

 Cover Photo

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney MLA is calling on the Health Minister to call a halt to Health Trust cutback decisions to allow for a proper review of the plans.

Some of the Trusts ‘contingency’ plans have been greeted with horror by patients and the public in places like Armagh, Bangor, Downpatrick and Ballycastle and the Health Minister himself has questioned a plan for cutbacks at Dalriada Hospital.

“As well as reflecting concern about Dalriada, the Health Minister has regularly repeated that he is relatively new to his position and it is also clear from evidence to the Health Committee from Departmental officials that Trusts had been working on their plans for some time and certainly before Mr Wells took up his post.

“It is our view that the plans are not about strategic health provision but are about relieving pressure on individual Trusts financial bottom lines.  They are certainly not in the context of the Transforming Your Care strategic plan for moving more of our services into the community. In fact some will have the opposite effect.

“Moves such as cutting back on minor injuries clinics and respite provision are, in the view of the SDLP, certainly not consistent with that plan and may even put further pressure on our hospital and accident and emergency units.

“There is a real need to reassure the public that any cutbacks will have as little impact on patients and the public as possible.  The Minister has an opportunity to do that – prove that it is he who is in charge and not the Trusts – and call a halt to the cuts to allow a strategic review.

“To do nothing and allow the cutbacks to proceed will show it is civil servants who are in charge not the Health Minister.”





#SaveTheDal – Letter to the Minister

9 11 2014

dalriada[1] 

Copy of letter from local GPs to Health Minister:Mr Jim Wells 
The Minister
Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety
Information Office
C5.20 Castle Buildings
Stormont Buildings
Belfast
BT4 3SQDear Mr Wells,

As you are aware Dr Tony Stevens, Chief Executive of NHSCT announced on Thursday 30th November 2014, the “temporary” closure of Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle in its entirety at the end of November 2014.

Dalriada Hospital has provided outstanding medical care to the people of Ballycastle and the surrounding areas for decades.

This decision to close Dalriada hospital betrays the substance of Transforming Your Care which promotes intermediate care, with medical care being provided to patients either in their own homes or in intermediate care units as close as possible to their homes.

As GPs who work in Dalriada Hospital we wish to voice our grave concerns about the proposed closure of Dalriada Hospital. Although described as a “temporary” closure, Dr Tony Stevens CEO was unable to give any assurance that this would be the case, merely advising that there would be consultation about the provision of intermediate care throughout the Northern Trust area after the end of this financial year. He also stated that as this was “temporary” he was under no obligation to carry out any consultation.

The hospital encompasses 20 intermediate care beds and 12 regional Multiple sclerosis respite beds. Not only do we the GPs accept patients on a step-down basis from the acute hospital setting (e.g. for rehabilitation following orthopaedic surgery for fractured hips) we also provide a step-up service.

The step-up service allows us to directly admit a patient from home, including Rathlin islanders to Dalriada Hospital who would otherwise require attendance at A+E and admission into an acute hospital bed. As you are aware the cost of a bed day in Dalriada Hospital is a fraction of the cost of a bed day in the acute hospital setting such as Causeway or Antrim Area Hospital.

The doctors also accept and provide medical cover for patients who have been assessed in A+E or admitted to the medical assessment unit and require further short-term clinical care and rehabilitation with the assistance of the multidisciplinary team.

Unfortunately the number of patients requiring complex palliative care treatment has escalated in the past years and Dalriada hospital has highly skilled clinical staff members who are fully dedicated and competent to provide this essential service to patients who otherwise their care could only be provided in the acute hospital setting.

Dalriada hospital also provides a regional respite service for patients with Multiple Sclerosis who have complex medical and nursing needs. During their respite stay the service users avail.

The many services on site including dentistry, podiatry, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. This prevents fragmented care at home. Sadly many of these patients are young. A nursing home environment would be totally unsuitable to their needs. This has been continually voiced by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
The clinical care provided by the specialist nurses in Dalriada Hospital provides not only for the physical complexities, but also the psychological and social needs of the sufferers of Multiple Sclerosis and their families. This is unique and has been emphasised by the service users and reiterated in the media.

The disbandment of the hospital and these specialist skilled staff will have enormous clinical impact on the provision of acute hospital care and would appear to make no economic sense.

As GPs we are fearful of the impact this proposed major cutback in local healthcare provision will have on the patients in our practices populations. North Antrim and Rathlin Island have become popular retirement areas and hence we have a large proportion of frail elderly patients. In the winter months particularly, many of these patients unfortunately succumb to respiratory infections and fractures due to falls. The only option for these patients will be to attend A+E with long trolley waits and prolonged stay in acute hospital beds. These patients have been treated and have had rehabilitation (including after orthopaedic surgery) up to the present time in Dalriada hospital.

The Northern Trust representatives have argued that they have too many intermediate care beds. Unfortunately they have been disingenuous in their description of intermediate care beds. At present the only intermediate care facilities in the NHSCT area which are staffed by trained nurses are:
• Dalriada Hospital with 20 intermediate care beds. 
• Robinson Hospital in Ballymoney with 21 intermediate care beds 
• Inver in Larne with 16 intermediate care beds 
• Mid Ulster hospital in Magherafelt which has 3 assessment beds.

All the other units which the trust has called intermediate care beds are staffed by care assistants with no trained nurses. Patients can only be admitted to these care assistant staffed units if;
• they can be cared for with the assistance of one person, 
• if they do not have dementia and 
• If they do not have medical complications requiring skilled nursing care.

These care assistant staffed units are in Ballymoney, Ballymena, Antrim, Larne, Whiteabbey and Cookstown. None of these are within easy access of Ballycastle and the Glens.

1. If this proposed closure is enforced what is going to happen to the patients in this area of North Antrim and Rathlin Island?
2. Where are our patients with complex palliative care needs going to be admitted?
3. Can you give assurances that our frail elderly patients will not spend prolonged undignified days on A+E trolleys?
4. Where will the clients with Multiple Sclerosis avail of respite care?

The haste with which this announcement was made has caused enormous anxiety to the people of Ballycastle, Rathlin Island and the Glens. Unfortunately without the answers to the questions we pose we have been unable to allay these fears and anxieties. We would invite you to reply urgently to our questions so that we can assure our patients of a safe and high standard of medical provision.

We would also invite you to come to Dalriada hospital to see for yourself the excellent facilities which it provides, a service which actually saves the Health service money. You will be assured of a very warm welcome.
Yours sincerely,
Dr Mary McLister
Dr Martin O’Kane
Dr Bernie Hegarty
Dr Fergal Hasson
Dr Farah Nawaz
Dr Adrian Sterne
Dr Ian Hadden
Dr Stephen McDonnell
In support of: Dr Dermot Grant, Dr John McSparran and Dr Gillian Elder, Glens of Antrim Medical Centre
CCs
Mr Tony Stevens Chief Executive
Cllr Donal Cunningham
Cllr Joan Baird
Cllr Cara McShane
Ian Paisley MP
Robin Swann MLA
Jim Allister MLA
Daithi McKay MLA
Mervyn Storey MLA
Northern Local Commissioning Group

Public meeting to support campaign to keep Dalriada Hospital open arranged for Tuesday 18 November at 7pm in Dunluce School, Bushmills.

Dalriada Hospital, Ballycastle, Cuts – Action and Reaction

Coleraine Times slideshow of Public Meeting [Photos by Kevin McAuley; Slideshow by Una Culkin]

UTV coverage of white-line protest

Ministerial office email address for submission of views: private.office@