The public can be assured that the future of Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital is secure, says Minister for Health and Social Care, Kate Beecroft MHK.
The Department of Health and Social Care has taken the decision to consolidate the Island’s endoscopy services in the new state of the art and purpose built £1.6 million endoscopy suite at Noble’s Hospital. The change will come into effect on 22 May and will mean the relocation of some endoscopy equipment and the transfer of two members of nursing staff from Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital to work instead at Noble’s Hospital.
The aim of consolidating the service is to improve patient care and safety by reducing endoscopy waiting times, and within a year all urgent referrals from a GP are expected to be seen within six weeks. Despite the move of this service the operating theatre suite in Ramsey remains open.
The Minister said: “Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital has been part of the Island’s health service since 1907. The past decade has seen millions of pounds worth of investment which has reshaped the hospital; making it fit for purpose to provide a range of services for the needs of our Island’s communities now and into the future.
“The DHSC is facing significant challenges - not least to meet growing demands and improve the quality and cost-efficiency of services.
“More care in the community, closer to people’s homes, is one of the five key goals of our strategy, and Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital will play its part in delivering that objective. That is why I can assure the public that the Department has no plans that threaten the future of this important asset.
“This does not mean, however, that there can never and will never be changes to the services provided there. Parts of the hospital can be underutilised. This is partly of our own making, as Ramsey and District Cottage Hospital has been managed over the years as part of community health, when clearly some of what is provided there are hospital services. We have now updated our management structures to deal with this. In view of the Department’s difficult financial circumstances we must use all of our assets effectively. It is likely that we will augment some services at Ramsey in the future, as we review whether to bring together some services which are currently split between different sites. This is a positive move for the cottage hospital.”