Trust denies patients asked to make own way to Derry

DESPITE reports of local patients being asked to make their own way to Altnagelvin, the Western Trust has said it is not part of its normal contingency plans to ask patients to make their own arrangements.

Since the suspension of emergency general surgery at the SWAH, local patients requiring non-planned surgical treatment have been transferred to the Derry hospital as they can no longer be treated at the SWAH. The Trust has employed private ambulances to make these transfers.

As previously reported by the Herald, such as in the case of a mother who had to drive her sick son from Fermanagh to Altnagelvin in freezing fog in the middle of the night, in some cases local patients have reported being asked to make their own way to Derry.


Local campaign group Save Our Acute Services (SOAS) has also been contacted by patients asked to make their own arrangements for travel.

“It is hugely concerning the number of reports of people being asked to drive up that very bad road, often in the middle of the night,” an SOAS spokesman told the Herald, adding the group knew first hand of cases where people were asked “to make their own way.”

However, when contacted by the Herald about this issue, a Trust spokesman said this was not its policy.

“It is not part of the Trust’s normal contingency arrangements to ask patients to make their way to Altnagelvin Hospital for surgical input. However, some patients may choose to make their own way to Altnagelvin,” they said.

“As part of our monitoring processes, the Trust is not aware of instances where patients have waited significant periods of time for internal transfer by private ambulance providers.

“The Trust continues to use private ambulances for non-urgent transfer of emergency general surgery patients that cannot be facilitated by NI Ambulance Service.”

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA