Plans to cut beds at hospital

Hospital Beds

A bedroom at the South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen

IT HAS BEEN revealed that plans to cut beds at the South West Acute Hospital are being examined by the Western Trust, despite reports in recent months of wards in the hospital being filled to capacity.

The cuts to bed provisions here are outlined in a new cost-cutting report released by the Western Health Trust which also includes the proposal of the withdrawal of residential provision at Creamery House care home in Kesh.


The proposals are part of £13m worth of cuts that the Western Trust has been told that it has to make.

The proposals outline cutting eight beds by facilitating the ‘safe early discharge of newly admitted older patients’ – while further cuts to beds could come as part of the separate ‘bed remodelling’ scheme which will see 21 beds cut across the Western Trust area.

UUP Councillor Raymond Farrell said that he was very concerned about the potential loss of beds at the hospital here.

“I think the Trust has got to explain the situation to the people.
I’m realistic and I know they have a certain pot of money that they have to manage but for the ordinary man on the street, their concern is: ‘If a member of my family needs a hospital bed; if there’s an emergency within my household, are we going to see those needs met?’”

He went on: “I am very concerned about any planned reduction in services.
While I recognise that there has been a cut to funding from the department, and it does leave the Trust in a difficult position, at the same time I think when we’re looking at reductions in beds and potential reduction in staffing levels, that does not give me great confidence.
Particularly when we’re dealing with significant need in the local community at this time.

“It just doesn’t add up. We’ve had the situation over this past year and more where there haven’t been enough beds. They’ve had to open other parts of the hospital to facilitate in patient care and to further reduce that where there is need and where people are in need of help  – it does fill me with concern.”

As part of a suggested £140k saving, the Trust has proposed the reduction in the number of beds at SWAH. The document explained:


“The aim is to facilitate the safe early discharge of newly admitted older patients with complex needs who might otherwise have an unnecessa“““, thus reducing eight acute hospital beds in the second half of the year.”

Secondly, although with no specific details on just how many beds would be lost locally, is the ‘bed remodelling’ scheme.

“The implementation plan suggests there will be a reduction of 21 beds across the Trust geography, and the additional demands for beds from service
developments and increases in unscheduled care are being considered within that programme of work. In South West Acute Hospital, the bed remodelling work is expected to conclude in the first six months of 2015/16 and be implemented thereafter.”

It is proposed that this would save £500k.

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