Daisy Hill Hospital will have a specialist in-house cardiologist for the first time. The revelation came during a recent meeting between Southern Area Health and Social Care Trust representatives and the council Health Service Working Group. The recent recruitment will see a cardiologist – one of only seven such specialists in the North – permanently on site at the hospital. And it’s a timely move with the lack of such a specialist being available having caused a 15 month wait for one patient who was in need of follow up treatment. Acknowledging that this was “unacceptable,” Trust chief Mairead McAlinden stressed that it had been an exceptional case. “That person was in need of particularly specialised treatment which simply wasn’t available unfortunately,” she said. “All cases with that one exception are seen within nine weeks. The recent recruitment of an on-sit cardiologist will make a huge difference and should ensure nobody ever faces such a prolonged delay again.” Meanwhile it was also revealed that more than 3,500 people attended the hospital’s Accident and Emergency Department in April alone. Of those, 19 people waited more than 12 hours to be seen but Acting Director of Acute Services, Debbie Burns assured councillors that those delays were due to exceptional circumstances and that in each instance the patient was given a bed while they waited. Their dignity was preserved – no one was left in corridors,” she said.
28th May 2013