Bangor hospital beds value for money says Green MLA

Green Party MLA Steven Agnew has obtained figures from the Health Minister which show that the 20 bed intermediate care unit at Bangor Community Hospital was offering real value for money.

521 people used the facility in the year 2013/14 at a total cost of £1.44m which works out on average £2,764 per patient. This compares favourably with nearby private facilities, such as Northfield House, where in the same year 14 beds cost the South Eastern Trust on average £5,086 per patient. The Trust is proposing to retain the beds at Northfield while permanently closing the beds at the 20 bed ward at Bangor Hospital.

Mr Agnew said, “The figures provided by the Minister add further strength to the argument that the beds at Bangor Community Hospital should be retained. The Minister has already acknowledged in the Assembly that the proposal to close these beds is counter strategic however we keep being told that the decision is driven by financial necessity.

“The fact that treatment can be provided at the hospital at almost half the cost of a private facility, which the South Eastern Trust proposes to maintain, makes a nonsense of this argument. I do not want to see any cuts to the current intermediate care provision in the South Eastern Trust area but I believe that the Trust and the Minister have a duty to investigate the very high costs they are paying for this facility.

“If they are looking for savings they should turn their attention away from Bangor Hospital which can offer excellent care and value for money. I have spoken to many constituents on this issue and over and over again I have been told what fantastic care was provided at Bangor Hospital.
“This is a community facility that is valued by all.

“I want to thank all the people who have shown their objection to the proposed permanent closure of this hospital ward, including those who stopped to talk to me and my colleague Councillor John Barry when we were doing our stint on the stall at Bloomfield Shopping Centre.

“I would encourage others to fill in the very short consultation form and state their objection to the closure of these beds. Credit must go to Councillor Marion Smith who has co-ordinated a cross party campaign against the closure of the ward, it is important that politicians work collaboratively on this issue.

“I continue to support the Save Bangor Hospital Campaign and appreciate the good work of all those involved.”

7 April 2015

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