Health board chiefs asked if Deeside Community Hospital could support minor injuries unit and IV suite
Health board chiefs have been asked whether Deeside Community Hospital could support a minor injuries unit and IV suite.
Chairing a special meeting of Flintshire Council’s Social and Health Care scrutiny committee, Argoed and New Brighton Cllr Hilary McGuill (Lib Dem) posed the question to Betsi Cadwaladr’s interim chief executive Gill Harris.
The meeting enabled senior health board leaders to answer a number of questions on a range of subjects from Flintshire councillors.
Cllr McGuill said: “Are you considering putting in a minor injuries unit (MIU) and possibly an IV suite at Deeside Community Hospital?
“It was built with the proviso that the building will take this. It will need a few bits of extra equipment and it will need staffing, but can I have confirmation that you are at least looking at fully staffing it?”
Ms Harris said the health board is always looking to enhance its services but recruitment of staff is an issue.
She said: “We’re always looking at fully staffing all of our units and we’ve got some significant challenges.
“Our Mold MIU is one you’ll be aware of but in terms of maximising the offer of all our community hospitals, that is part of the work that we’re doing now – where should the MIU’s be?
“We have to, for the purposes of our ambulance services, be more consistent with the offer. If we’re asking an ambulance to take someone to an MIU, then they need to know when they get there that it’s going to be open and that the services we offer are going to be fully available.”
Flintshire currently has two minor injury units based in Holywell and Mold.
Earlier in the meeting, Hope Cllr Gladys Healey (Lab) asked about GP surgeries sending patients to A&E to receive IV (intravenous) antibiotics, and shared her own experience of being sent to the Maelor Hospital in Wrexham.
“Why can’t we have IV suites in GP surgeries as the GP’s are sending people with complaints that only need IV antibiotics to A&E”, Cllr Healey said.
“These patients are waiting for 10 to 12 hours, so why can’t we have IV suites in surgeries as this would alleviate a lot of nurses so they could do something else.”
She added: “There are people with complaints like ulcerative colitis which just needs IV antibiotics because it has had a flare up and there are many other chronic diseases that only need IV.
“I am speaking from experience. I had to go to the Maelor A&E and I was there from 2.30pm to 3am in the morning without a drink, without anything to eat and then I was given IV antibiotics.
“I know myself as I worked in the Maelor that all I needed was antibiotics. An IV suite in the community or at the doctors would be an ideal solution.”
The chair, Cllr McGuill, added: “I’m glad you’ve brought that up as I don’t know why the cottage hospitals are not using the staff there to do IV’s.
“That’s an excellent idea and I’m sure Betsi are going to take that on board. They already know that all our cottage hospitals have X-ray facilities so there isn’t an excuse there that those cottage hospitals couldn’t be used for IV suites.”
The health board’s David Coyle, currently leading the Integrated Health Community on an interim basis, responded.
He said: “We do give a substantial amount of IV’s in the community.
“The starting point is that in order to get a person assessed and to prescribe them you generally have to do some diagnostics, at the very least an X-ray for a chest infection.
“From a clinical perspective there is an element of having to do an assessment to prescribe and while GP’s can do that, there is quite often something else which needs to be done in X-ray but we do give a substantial amount of IV’s in the community.
“It’s a very good suggestion, I think there is an element of some IV’s being administrated in practices but we can certainly look into that moving forward.”
Mr Coyle said that some of the GP surgeries in the east of the health board’s patch were perhaps limited for space, but enabling people to receive IV’s closer to home and not at hospital could be looked at.
By Rory Sheehan – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com