Trust urged to record Fermanagh patient transfers

THE local Council has asked the Western Trust for more details, after the Trust said it had no way of recording the number of patients requiring Emergency General Surgery (EGS) who transfer from the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH) by their own means.

Councillors were responding to a response from the Trust’s chief executive, Neil Guckian, in relation to a number of matters raised last month by Cllr Diana Armstrong.

Cllr Armstrong noted Mr. Guckian previously said an average of two SWAH patients per day were being admitted to Altnagelvin Hospital for EGS, and while there was information regarding ambulance transfers per day, this didn’t take account of patients transferring by their own means.


In response, Mr. Guckian contended it is not possible to record figures of patients traveling from the SWAH to Altnagelvin by their own means; however, he added: “All patients who go in to the SWAH Emergency Department are risk-assessed and a decision is made whether they will travel either by private ambulance provider or by NI Ambulance Service to Altnagelvin Hospital.

“Patient safety remains the focus of transfer to ensure that the patient’s needs are appropriately provided for.”

At the most recent meeting, Cllr Armstrong re-proposed the Trust collate the information of patients traveling by their own means and provide it to the Council “possibly on a rolling basis”.

Seconding, Cllr Anne Marie Fitzgerald also asked for the proposal to include information on patients travelling on their own as: “There are differences and they can be flawed in detail.

“The [Western] Trust may provide transfers from hospital, but the protocol has been changed, and I would say it would be better to state [full information on] all patients going from this area to Altnagelvin by their own means of travel.”

Agreeing, Cllr Adam Gannon said the Trust needs to look at a way of working out where patients come from who are transferred under their own power, and requested this too be included in the proposal.

Cllr Eddie Roofe said from working in a GP Surgery: “We can see how many patients have attended an Emergency Department in the previous seven days, so there is the ability to segregate patients by GP surgery.


“It would be very easy to pick out the surgeries in our area with patients who would normally have gone to the SWAH.

“It would be a relatively straightforward piece of data.”

The proposal passed unanimously.

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