DoH Allocates Extra £3m To Cope With Winter Pressures

The Department of Health (DoH) has allocated an extra £3 million in funding to help health and social care services in Northern Ireland cope with increased pressures over winter.

Hospitals in the region are experiencing high patient numbers as temperatures drop and waiting times in emergency departments are expected to grow.

The additional funding will be targeted at specific areas including; recruitment of staff for domiciliary care, care package provision for older people with dementia, and procurement of disability and community care equipment.

The growing demand for A&E availability for older people with multiple health problems was a driving factor behind the health and social care board's decision to allocate more funds, as the elderly often require longer stays in hospital and more complex community care packages when they are discharged.

Mitigation measures have been put in place to help ease pressures where possible, and appear to have been beneficial.

Hospital emergency departments performed better in the past month, when compared with the same period last year despite a rise in attendances and admissions, according to new data.
News Image
Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: "We all owe a huge debt of gratitude to staff for working through these pressures. We are sorry that too many patients continue to experience long waits. All feasible steps to ease the pressures are being taken.

"Every one of us can also all do our bit to help staff help us. That means using services appropriately and doing all we can to help stay well."

The Department also published a series of 'stay well' tips for the winter months:

• If you are seriously ill or injured, then the Emergency Department is the place to go, however busy it may be. If you attend an ED, you will be assessed and triaged as quickly as possible, with the most urgent medical cases given the greatest priority.

• If you do not need emergency care, a range of alternative services is available. These include using the online A-Z symptom checker, seeking advice from a pharmacist, going to a Minor Injury Unit, or contacting a GP or the GP Out of Hours services (if your medical condition can't wait until the GP surgery reopens).

• The online A-Z symptom checker can be found on the NI Direct website

• Advice on reducing the risk of falls is available on the Health and Social Care website


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

15 August 2019
New Model In Progress For Adult Learning Disability Services
The Health and Social Care Board is seeking opinions from service users and their families as it develops a new model for Adult Learning Disability Services. It is hoped the regional strategy will ensure that all in need of the service will have access to the support they need regardless of where they live.
09 August 2019
Torrential Rain Set To Continue This Weekend
Northern Ireland appears set for a weekend of torrential rain as forecasters warn of thunderstorms and potential flooding. The Met Office has issued yellow weather alerts covering most of the province until 6am on Sunday.
11 March 2003
Primary care must be strengthened says Browne
The role of primary care has to be strengthened and expanded, NIO Health Minister Des Browne has told delegates at the ‘Primary Care-Moving Forward’ conference in Armagh today.
11 April 2013
£40m Health Care Centres Announced For NI
Two new £40m health care centres for Northern Ireland have been given the go-ahead. The new Lisburn and Newry facilities will accommodate GPs as well as a number of community services provided by the Trusts.
14 September 2012
Cancer Patients Missing Out On NI Treatment Targets
Cancer patients across Northern Ireland are starting treatment late as health trusts fail on basic performance standards, it has emerged. Last April, the health minister said 95% of people who were urgently referred with suspected cancer should begin treatment within 62 days.