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Last Updated: Friday, 20 May, 2005, 07:13 GMT 08:13 UK
Board bids to restore confidence
Campaigners are fighting for the retention of acute services
Campaigners are fighting for the retention of acute services
Management at a troubled health trust are determined to restore public confidence in their services, a senior official has said.

Sperrin Lakeland Trust Medical Director Dr Diana Cody was speaking after the resignation of the body's chief executive on Thursday.

The executive, Hugh Mills, stood down following a meeting called to discuss a risk assessment report on the trust.

Management is to meet on Friday for further discussions on the report.

The assessment highlighted a series of shortcomings in how things were done including inadequate staffing levels at the trust's hospitals.

Dr Cody said Sperrin's executive group was determined to restore confidence in the local community.

"There are a lot of criticisms in the report which are being levelled at Sperrin Lakeland Trust," she said.

"We are committed to patient safety, to providing a good quality of care for our patients and staff welfare.

"And given those three parameters, we plan to use this document in a very positive way. We want to use it to build on our services.

'Confidence issue'

"We accept at the moment, there is going to be a public confidence issue but we are committed to providing services to our community in a safe way."

Maggie Reilly from the patient's watchdog, the Western Health and Social Services Council, said she hoped the report's recommendations would be implemented as soon as possible.

"This is a very damning report and it makes some very serious comments and results in 31 very clear actions and recommendations," she said.

"As a council we are much more confident now because of the minister's direct intervention.

"In terms of immediate risk to patients, I do know that the trust has already taken steps to ensure that those risks have been minimised."

Earlier this year the trust, which is responsible for running the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen and Tyrone County in Omagh, asked a team of experts to look at number of issues including how they dealt with risky situations.

The report found a series of shortcomings in how things were done.

These included inadequate staffing levels and at times mistakes - known in the health service as adverse clinical incidents - had been made, resulting in patients being put at risk.

The report also recommended the closure of the intensive care unit at Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh.

The unit shut temporarily a few months ago. It has been replaced by a high dependency unit which involves a lower level of staffing.

Health planners had said the population in the south west was too small to run two emergency hospitals.

A decision has been made to end acute care in Omagh and build a new hospital in Enniskillen.

The site of this new hospital just to the north of Enniskillen was announced recently.


SEE ALSO:
Health chief asked to step down
19 May 05 |  Northern Ireland
Council loses hospital action
09 Mar 04 |  Northern Ireland
Challenge to hospital decision
04 Apr 03 |  Northern Ireland


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