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Revamp of admissions saves Altnagelvin £4m

By Brendan McDaid

Some 9,000 bed days have been salvaged for patients and millions of pounds saved at Altnagelvin Hospital in a year due to a revamp in admissions procedures.

Fewer patients are needlessly staying or being treated in the wrong wards at the Londonderry hospital — saving some £4m, Western Health Trust director of acute services Geraldine Hillick told Derry City Council’s regional services committee last night.

Altnagelvin Hospital admits some 69 people a day, 45 of whom would be unscheduled arrivals.

She said that staff now met for a steamlined 20-minute meeting every day to work out admissions, adding that those present were accountable for the decisions they make and responsible for ensuring patients go to correct wards.

The reforms have significantly reduced waiting time breaches at Altnagelvin A&E.

But SDLP councillor Shaun Gallagher stressed that the trust must do all it can to cut waiting times at A&E. He said: “People might be waiting maybe eight hours — to be honest, that’s a full day’s work; they would need to bring a packed lunch with them.”

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