Drumclay Care Facility to open with emphasis on greater community connections


Drumclay Care Facility to open with emphasis on greater community connectionsThe Western Trust are preparing to launch an innovative example of a ‘connected communities’ project with the re-opening of Drumclay Care Facility.

Following a very successful and comprehensive engagement phase through the Pathfinder Project for Fermanagh and West Tyrone, the Western Trust announced that it will be taking a pro-active step in taking on the lease of Drumclay Care Facility. With the recruitment drive for staff and work almost completed, a re-launch of services for older people in the facility is now on the horizon.

The principle of ‘Connected Communities’ has been to the fore of many discussions in recent months with the public and was central to engagement at the Pathfinder Health Summit, which took place in the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen in April. Since then the Trust has been collaborating with the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council Community Planning team and other stakeholders, to look at ways to deliver a new model of service which will create greater synergy between hospital and community.

Deputy Chief Executive, Kieran Downey, who leads the Pathfinder project has heard over 2,200 voices at 62 events throughout the Engagement phase of the project. The ongoing work on how the Connected Communities ambition will work as part of the Pathfinder Project has also been enhanced with involvement of the Pathfinder Experts by Experience.

“It is our ambition to move our hospitals closer to our communities as well as providing opportunities to connect services in our communities which can combat loneliness and support older people to live as independently as possible. The Drumclay Care Facility project provides an opportunity to breathe life into the concept of Connected Communities. It will facilitate this link by transitioning patients from the hospital to the community and preparing them to return home. In addition we will be looking at fostering greater links for care in the community and addressing the gap in residential and nursing home provision, as the Trust engages with the independent sector to generate local solutions to meet future need”

Dr Bob Brown, Director of Primary Care and Older People’s Services with the Western Trust, is leading a Care Home Contingency and Future Services Development Group which is developing a dementia and residential nursing care service strategy for Fermanagh and West Tyrone.

“The Western Trust are delighted to have leased the excellent Drumclay Care facility in Enniskillen and look forward initially to providing transition beds to help patients to transition back into community care from our hospitals. This will help people who, at times, may have had to wait too long in hospital and this really is a pioneering and innovative service provision that the Trust is very keen to develop quickly”.

“We have seen the tremendous success of engaging with all the community in the Pathfinder project and one of the major talking points in that was in the important principle of connected communities. I really do believe that the Drumclay model will be a very important part in exhibiting how the Trust can achieve that ambition. We are looking forward to developing a hub for local people in the community, which could have a whole range of services available. While opening transition beds in the facility in the weeks ahead we will also be looking at a Carer’s Hub and working closely with the Community Planning team in the Fermanagh and Omagh Council and the Pathfinder Experts by Experience, as well as local groups, to see how best we can achieve our aim of establishing a real Hub in the Community.”

Workforce planning was another key focal point of discussion throughout the Pathfinder engagement and the opening of the Drumclay Care Facility by the Western Trust has provided the opportunity for nurses and other staff to take on a role which could well become part of an exciting new model of provision in the future.

Bob continued: “Our ability to find the best range of staff available for such a ground-breaking project is very much on our minds now and there are a number of excellent opportunities available, particularly for the bed-based posts in the facility. We would love to hear from anyone interested in joining us in our ambitious vision for the future of providing local services for local people, such as we plan to have in Drumclay.”