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  • Writer's pictureLove Ballymena

Vision for Causeway Hospital paves the way to bright future

Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh speaks at the launch event in Causeway Hospital.

Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh speaks at the launch event in Causeway Hospital.


The Northern HSC Trust has today unveiled its vision for Causeway Hospital, restating its commitment to the hospital’s “bright future”.

 

Speaking at a launch event which was attended by Northern Trust staff, Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh said she hoped the publication of the Trust’s strategic vision for the Coleraine hospital would allay any fears among staff and the wider community about its future.

 



“We have an amazing community here in Causeway, and the high esteem with which our staff are held by local people is testament to their commitment and dedication to providing the highest standards of health and social care to the local population,” said Ms Welsh.

 

“I, along with our entire senior management team, am enormously proud of the people who are part of Team North here in Causeway, and today signals our reassurance to them that we remain committed to investing in the hospital and we are confident it will continue to serve the community for many years to come.”

 



Senior management took the opportunity today to restate the Trust’s commitment to the hospital, saying Causeway would retain a 24/7 Emergency Department and acute inpatient services.


Pictured at the launch event l-r are Director of Strategic Planning, Performance and ICT Neil Martin, Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh, Director of Finance Owen Harkin, Non-Executive Director Kathy MacKenzie, and Director of Operations Gillian Traub

Pictured at the launch event l-r are Director of Strategic Planning, Performance and ICT Neil Martin, Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh, Director of Finance Owen Harkin, Non-Executive Director Kathy MacKenzie, and Director of Operations Gillian Traub


Ms Welsh added: “Since the reconfiguration of our maternity services model came into operation last summer, along with our current review of general surgery, we know that there have been many false rumours and speculation about what that might mean for Causeway Hospital.

 

“We feel it is important that we provide reassurance, both to our people, and to the wider community, that there are no plans to downgrade Causeway Hospital; in fact, it’s quite the opposite. We passionately believe that by focusing on the right services, attracting investment and building our workforce, Causeway has a very bright future and can be a shining example of how to do joined-up, integrated care.”

 

Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh and Non-Executive Director Kathy MacKenzie along with members of the Trust’s Senior Management Team and Causeway Hospital staff at the launch event.

Northern Trust Chief Executive Jennifer Welsh and Non-Executive Director Kathy MacKenzie along with members of the Trust’s Senior Management Team and Causeway Hospital staff at the launch event.


The Vision outlines the Trust’s ambition to develop and enhance the Causeway site, focussing on same day emergency care, elective care and cancer services, and reshaping mental health provision to meet the needs of the local population. It also highlights how Causeway Hospital is perfectly positioned to become an elective and diagnostic hub for the entire North West area.

 



The Trust has already started to develop an action plan to support the ambitions of the Vision and will focus on six key areas:


·         workforce strategy

·         developing ambulatory care

·         enhancing elective care and diagnostics

·         mental health services

·         integrated care

·         consolidation and strengthening of ED and medical specialities


Neil Martin, Director of Strategic Planning, Performance and ICT with the Northern Trust, said:


“The need for transformation in health and social care is nothing new and indeed it is something that has been talked about for many years. In line with the Department of Health’s work on a regional blueprint for our hospital network, there is now a real opportunity for us to take stock and consider how we can best shape our services for the years to come.

 



“The stark reality is that all hospitals cannot provide all services. Nor should they. Transformation is needed in order to tackle waiting lists and meet the needs of an ageing population against the backdrop of a very difficult financial situation. Delivering the best care and achieving the best outcomes for patients and service users must be at the heart of our service provision.”

 

“As a Trust providing health and social care services in our community, it is vital that we continue to adapt to meet the changing needs of the area’s population as well as ensuring our services are safe and sustainable as we move forward,” Mr Martin added.

 

“Our population is changing, particularly when you look at the current demographic and projections for the Causeway Coast and Glens area. It’s imperative that we respond to those changes if we are to continue providing the right care, at the right time, to the right people.”

 

The Trust is encouraging members of the public to get behind the vision and is welcoming any feedback.

 



A copy of the Causeway Vision document is available to view and can be downloaded from the Trust website.

 

Questions or comments should be emailed to involvingyou@northerntrust.hscni.net

 

Over the last 12 months, £1.8m has been invested into urgent and ambulatory (same day) care at Causeway Hospital.


A £1.2m solar energy project at Causeway Hospital was completed in March 2024 – the largest solar PV (photovoltaic) roof installation on any Health and Social Care building in Northern Ireland, and one of the largest rooftop installations on the island of Ireland.


The site has a new £1m state-of-the-art CT scanner and an MRI scanner is due to be added in the near future.



Projections show that over the next 20 years, the number of people over the age of 75 living in the CCG Council area will increase by 56%. At the same time, the number of under-20s is expected to fall by almost 20%.

 

Causeway Hospital statistics for the year 2022/23:


·         180,000 patient contacts (approx. 500 patients every day)

·         47,000 Emergency Department attendances

·         83,000 outpatient appointments

·         10,700 unscheduled admissions

·         7,800 planned procedures

·         32,500 outpatient diagnostic tests



Review of General Surgery in Northern HSC Trust


Following discussions with our consultant surgical teams in Antrim Area and Causeway hospitals, we have been engaging with staff in relation to the provision of general surgery within the Trust. This follows the Department of Health’s 2022 Review of General Surgery in Northern Ireland. We are currently considering options for the future provision of general surgery within the Northern Trust area.


Any proposed change to the service will be subject to a full public consultation which will include engagement with all stakeholders including service users and our local community..


 


 

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