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Review of Safety and Sustainability of Acute Medical Services

Client: Western Health and Social Care Trust (Northern Ireland)
Lead contractor: Margaret Conroy

The Trust required clinical planning advice to review safety and sustainability of acute medical services. We developed a process to collect evidence (quantitative and qualitative) about the viability of services. We developed criteria for assessing cost-benefits of alternative service models and conducted an option appraisal workshop to generate a 'preferred option', stating whether acute medical services should be maintained locally or whether they should be transferred to a neighbouring hospital.

Services provided
Definition of data specification, collection of quantitative and qualitative data, analysis of patient flows and clinical throughput, projection of future scenarios, based on workforce and patient flow trends, facilitate option appraisal, produced report as basis for recommendation to Health Board and the public.

Acute medicine is increasingly difficult to provide in rural areas. Local communities are protective of local services in the face of change. We presented data that people could accept and understand as a foundation for decision-making. Our clinical planning advice was supported by a sound project management process.