The Southern Trust has introduced a seven-day X-ray service – the first in Northern Ireland to do so – in a bid to ease pressures on emergency departments.
The Southern Trust’s radiographer reporting service for emergency departments and minor injuries unit on Craigavon, Daisy Hill and South Tyrone hospital sites has been expanded.
The Trust radiographers’ team provide expert advice to nursing and medical staff about patients presenting with fractures and trauma-related injuries in emergency departments.
Hospitals within the UK who have already introduced this service have seen significant improvements in patient turnaround times within their emergency departments.
In recent weeks, this service has been extended and will now be available from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, and 8am to 12.30pm, Saturday and Sunday; having previously run Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, daily.
The Trust says the move is a significant step towards seven day working across the Trust and will benefit patients and ease pressures in emergency departments.
Jeanette Robinson, Head of Diagnostics, explained: “Having the reporting radiographers’ team available seven days a week will help to reduce waiting times for patients as the team will now be available every day to provide specialist advice and formal reports of patient X-rays to nursing and medical staff.
“This will not only improve patient safety but also ensure that doctors and nurses have more time to spend with patients and this will help reduce the time that patients stay in hospital.
“Our reporting radiographers’ team are very experienced and have a very thorough understanding of the body’s structure, how it is affected by injury, and the causes and effects of disease.”
Last year, The Trust radiographers’ team reported on 57,000 Plain Film X-rays.
The team has recently been recognised for their excellent work as winners in Northern Ireland advancing healthcare awards for leadership and culture (2017) and twice as runners-up in the UK Advancing Healthcare Awards.