Northern Ireland news

Consultation to launch over South Eastern Trust emergency care

The Emergency Department at Dundonald's Ulster Hospital. Picture by Mal McCann.
Staff reporter

PEOPLE in the South Eastern Health Trust area are being urged to have their say on the future of emergency care services that have been "immensely challenging" to provide.

The trust plans to seek approval for the consultation at its upcoming February board meeting, with the aim of creating a future model of urgent and emergency care.

The planned consultation, which will involve the public and "key partners" follows a winter period of extreme pressure on staff at the trust's Emergency Department at the Ulster Hospital.

The trust's chief executive Roisin Coulter said: "Being able to provide safe and sustainable urgent and emergency care services continues to be immensely challenging. Increasing demand, an ageing population and ongoing staffing pressures are also having a significant impact.

"Based on the review of urgent and emergency care services, set out in a recent public consultation by the Department of Health, providing safe and sustainable urgent and emergency care services is very much at the heart of the strategic vision and direction of health care here."

She added that the consultation was to "ensure that people fully understand the need for change, the various options and their implications. It is important they have a real and meaningful chance to have their say."

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