Trust Chief Executive Welcomes Special Meeting with Newry Mourne And Down Council
The Chief Executive of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has welcomed what she describes as a very useful, positive, open and honest meeting with members of the Newry Mourne and Down District Council on Monday afternoon.
Roisin Coulter, who was appointed to the post as Chief Executive at the end of June, said: “The Trust is proud to offer health and social care services from over 30 facilities throughout the Down area.
“Since the start of the pandemic, all services, apart from Urgent Care, have been restored at the Downe Hospital. The 89 inpatient beds are fully open and all outpatient services are back up and running.”
Roisin Coulter pointed out that the regional review of urgent and emergency care services, which is being led by the Department of Health, is expected shortly and it is anticipated this review will influence the future of all urgent and emergency care services throughout Northern Ireland.
“The Trust continues to provide a consultant-led, Urgent Care Centre, Monday-Friday 8am – 6pm, alongside a nurse-led minor injuries service on Saturday and Sunday and GP out of hours.
“The Urgent Care Centre has proven very successful with the public and treats an average of 65 patients every day.”
“We remain committed to the installation of a new MRI Scanner in the Downe Hospital, indeed this is a capital priority for the organisation, however, it requires approval from the Health and Social Care Board and the Department of Health.”
The Chief Executive acknowledged that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of many people and posed unprecedented challenges for the health service.
“Prior to COVID, the system was already facing huge strategic challenges in the form of an ageing population, increasing demand, long and growing waiting lists, workforce pressures and the emergence of new and more expensive treatments.”
“Within the Trust an enormous effort has been put in to introduce telephone and video-based appointments for mental health service users. The use of digital media to remotely contact service users has been very successful and has enabled teams to hold more consultation appointments.”
The special meeting of the Council was informed that the health and wellbeing of staff in the Trust is of vital importance and she was heartened to hear that “council members said they appreciated and valued the care that is provided across all of the services which the Trust provides.”
She stressed that she is both “optimistic and realistic” about the future as staff deal with the fourth surge of the pandemic and prepare for the expected Winter pressures. “Our health and social care services are facing unprecedented demand, and we so appreciate the tireless dedication and commitment of all our staff.”
The Chief Executive said she would welcome further, regular conversations with Council and the public in shaping services that are safe and appropriate across the Down area.