Northern Trust ‘working hard to fulfil care packages’ for rural families

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has said it is ‘working hard’ to fulfil care packages for those in rural areas.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 10:03 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 10:14 am

It comes after several families in the areas outside Larne reported difficulties in securing care for elderly relatives who had been discharged from hospital.

Mid and East Antrim councillor Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna, who had been contacted by a number of residents over the issue, said: “This was always an ongoing problem in rural areas, like Feystown and Aughaboy, but it’s been made worse by the situation around Covid as resources are extremely stretched.

“Of course it’s devastating for the families concerned, some of whom are having to step in and provide the care themselves which can be detrimental to their own health.

Hospitals are 'working beyond capacity', says the Trust

“I have been speaking to senior management in the Trust in recent weeks about this, and I understand they are working hard to find a solution.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust said the health authority was currently facing “unprecedented challenges” in securing all care packages required to meet assessed need.

“We are impacted by staff having to self-isolate both within the Statutory Service and the Independent Sector,” the spokesperson added.

“While some care packages can be put in place immediately, others will take longer depending on capacity within the geographical location.

“Our hospitals are working beyond capacity with very many ill patients waiting for hospital beds. As a result, we have had to ask patients, families and carers to support us to free up bed capacity during this extremely challenging time.

“This may mean supporting a patient at home until a care package can be finalised or accepting a bed in a care home that is not a first choice.

“We appreciate the frustration and challenge this poses for patients and their families and would assure everyone that staff are working extremely hard to meet patients’ needs and fulfil the care packages required.”