At the 2012 AGM of the Robinson Memorial Hospital the President of the Robinson Board, Mr. David Robinson, welcomed all the guests including the NHSCT Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sean Donaghy and Trust Directors, Mrs. Pamela Craig and Mrs. Jackie Elliot.
He then called upon the Honorary Secretary, Mrs. Margaret Allison, to deliver her annual report. She spoke first about the negotiations being held between the Board and the NHSCT concerning development of Day Hospice services at the hospital and the desire of the Board to provide en-suite rooms in the general end of the hospital. She reminded the meeting of the funds available for such projects from the Robinson legacy and money generously given by patients and families to the Palliative Care Fund of the hospital. She also informed the meeting about the volunteer scheme which is up and running under the supervision of Mrs. Kristie-Lee Greene who is very enthusiastic to expand such a valuable resource.
Mrs. Allison then spoke about the advances made to the computer system in the Health Centre and the use of the internet by patients to order prescriptions thus freeing up the telephone lines so that anyone needing to speak to a receptionist can do so. The staff of the Centre have found that the workload increases year on year as the population lives longer and the socio-economic effects take their toll.
The Physiotherapy Department based at the hospital reported a very busy year but despite a total of 14,011 new and review contacts the staff met the Minister of Health’s target of nine weeks for appointments in all disciplines, Elective Musculo-skeletal, Woman’s Health and Hydrotherapy. Mrs. Allison also reported that the department welcomed the appointment of Mr. Colin Brennan as a lead in the Elective Musculo- Skeletal services and Mrs. Eleanor Bridges as lead in Community Rehabilitation. She was also able to report that students still had placements in the department. The Robinson Board has re-iterated its support for the input from the Physiotherapy Department to the in-patients of the hospital which they feel is invaluable.
The Child Development Centre has advanced their merger with the Centre based at Antrim Hospital with good collaboration between the staff of both Centres. The Ballymoney Centre is still based at two sites. The administrative staff moved during the year from the Acorn Centre to the Route Complex while the professional team continues to work out of the Robinson site. Dr. Walsh stated that the Multi-disciplinary clinic was still at the heart of their work. Mrs. Allison acknowledged that the Robinson Board was aware of the shortage of space within the department and was trying to progress a strategy to alleviate the problem.
The report then moved on to inform the meeting about the activities of the Mental Health Team based at the Mental Health Resource Centre. Here again this team works in tandem with a team based in Ballycastle. Most referrals to both teams are from the GP practices in the area. Statutory and Non-Statutory bodies within the NHSCT also input the team and groups such as the Citizens Advice Bureau use the Resource Centre.
In finishing her report Mrs. Allison told the meeting that the Robinson Hospital In-Patients Department had a 90% bed occupancy throughout the year. They have made great strides in the fight against hospital acquired infections and their compliance score against standards during an unannounced inspection was 92%. The NHSCT had also held its first Volunteer Award ceremony at which one of the volunteers Arlene Watson received her five year recognition award. During the year a further two members of staff completed the module in Palliative Care showing the commitment of the staff to the provision of Palliative Care in the hospital. The Honorary Secretary re-iterated the Board’s support of all the work carried on in the hospital and their hope that a project to increase the number of en-suite rooms would come to fruition. Closing her report she thanked all Heads of Departments for their updates on the years activities.
Reviewing the Hospital’s investments, the Treasurer, Mr. Connor Taggart, reported that the main investment portfolio had produced a marginally positive result in a difficult year and was valued at just under £2,000,000.
Likewise, the two other smaller funds held by the Hospital Board were showing small increases in value; while the dedicated free fund account, held by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust for the benefit of the Robinson Hospital now had a balance just above £750,000.