24-hour stress test due at Altnagelvin A&E

Altnagelvin Hospital's A &E entrance (right).
Altnagelvin Hospital's A &E entrance (right).

A 24-hour stress test will be carried out at Altnagelvin’s Accident and Emergency ward next week.

The Western Trust’s director of Performance and Service Improvement Teresa Molloy made the announcement at Tuesday’s meeting of Derry City Council’s Regional Services Committee at the Guildhall.

The pilot project will take place on Friday, September 12th, and will hone in on the four-hour target set by the government for patients waiting at A&E to be seen.

The Trust has set itself a massive challenge to ensure every single patient from midnight to midnight is seen, admitted or discharged within the four hours.

The event will be part of the Trust’s new ‘No More Than Four’ project, and is one of a range of measures aimed at improving performance initiatives at Londonderry’s Emergency Department.

The government has also set targets for all patients to be dealt with at A&E within a 12-hour period, but the Western Trust has not had any breaches of this in terms of patients since February.

The Western Trust’s Emergency Department is already the best performing across the regions and was described as “strong” by Ms Molloy.

Ms Molloy said: “We have made good progress this year.

“In June this year we stood at 82% within the four hours. But it is a very significant challenge to maintain improvements and changes continue to be necessary and we are seeking investment.”

Trust Chief Executive Elaine Way told the committee: “The performance in the Emergency Department (ED) is outstanding but it is still not where we want to be.

“We have taken the old Sperrin Room and created five additional cubicles for ED. They require to be staffed. Last year we got non-recurring money to staff them but from the 1st of April we haven’t had a penny and the cost of that is £350,000.”

SDLP Councillor Martin Reilly welcomed the ‘No More Than Four’ initiative.