Review called as emergency departments under ‘pressure’

THE public has been urged to take part in a review on the future of urgent care as emergency departments struggle to deal with ‘intensifying pressures.’
The Patient and Client Council (PCC) are holding a public event giving people an opportunity to influence the future of emergency services. 
The workshop is being held on Monday, February 17, 2020 at the Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh from 1-4pm.
The event is particularly aimed at frequent users of the emergency department such a those with mental health difficulties, elderly, infants and children. 
The review comes after stark figures revealed that the three emergency departments covering Tyrone have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people having to wait longer than 12 hours in December 2019. 
Altnagelvin Hospital seen the biggest increase in waiting times, while Craigavon and South West Acute Hospital also recorded a big increase. 
A spokesman for the Department of Health said, “Emergency departments have been experiencing intensifying pressures over recent years with growing numbers of patients attending and facing long waits at EDs.
There is also an increase in the complexity of conditions presenting at EDs, particularly amongst the growing frail and elderly population.
The Department of Health has been undertaking a clinically led Review of Urgent and Emergency Care across Northern Ireland. The aim of the review is establish a new, sustainable regional care model for the next 10-15 years.”
The team leading the review is keen to hear the voices and experiences of service users and carers in developing proposals for a new model and the Patient and
Client Council is working with the Department under the Making Change Together initiative to facilitate discussions. 
The spokesman continued, “The purpose of the event in Omagh is to provide an important opportunity for service users and carers to share their experience and views and to influence the discussions on a future model at a formative stage.”
• To register your attendance for the public consultation, please visit www.makechangetogether. or call 0800 917 0222. 

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