Poots Putting Brakes On Causeway Hospital Announcement - Dallat

SDLP East Derry MLA John Dallat has spoken of his dismay that an expected announcement on the future of the Causeway Hospital A & E Department, which was due to be made public at a meeting of the Northern Health Trust next Friday, has effectively been shelved on the instructions of the Health Minister Edwin Poots.

The Northern Health Trust has now indicated that their plan to put the decision into the public domain has been cancelled and all documents would be sent to the Minister.

In a letter to the Trust, dated 12 June, the Minister indicated that he would make public to the Assembly, the public and all stakeholders all documentation simultaneously.

Following a follow-up conversation with a board official Mr Dallat said: "This does not come as a total surprise to me given the total opposition to downgrading the A & E Department at the Causeway Hospital.

"In a recent adjournment debate I secured in the Assembly, a record number of MLAs spoke out against any plans to restrict the opening hours of the A & E Department. In the meantime a public campaign has been gaining widespread support and a march to the hospital was in the planning.

"It seems now that the meeting of the trust next Friday which was to be in public will be held behind closed doors and I do not expect any decision to be made on the recommendation of the Local Commissioning Group led by Dr Brian Hunter.

"I also believe that given the Assembly will be in recess by 2 July the Minister will make no decision before the summer.

"However I would advise that postponing a decision in the hope that the widespread opposition to the proposal to downgrade the status of the Causeway Hospital will diminish is foolish.

"It irritates me and many other people that, while the people of Fermanagh are rightly celebrating the commissioning of a new hospital, the people of East Derry and North Antrim are fighting to retain a hospital which was built little more than a decade ago.

"The new hospital in the South East was hard fought for and I can tell the Minister that the people of this area are not ready to surrender their struggle for the Causeway which spanned three decades."


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

23 March 2020
Covid-19: Cases Rise As More People Are Tested
Testing in Northern Ireland has resulted in 20 new cases of coronavirus, bringing totals in the region to 148. An elderly individual yesterday became the second person to lose their life after testing positive for Covid-19. The patient had an underlying medical condition and was receiving treatment in hospital.
23 March 2020
Scammers Prey On Vulnerable Amid Crisis
Members of the public have been asked to warn their vulnerable loved ones after it emerged that cold callers have preyed on those currently isolating due to coronavirus. The PSNI called for vigilance in the face of scammers who have set out to take advantage of local people during the pandemic.
13 March 2020
'Finance Minister Must Assist Businesses Through Coronavirus'
The Finance Minister has come under pressure to introduce measures to assist businesses suffering a downturn in trade as a result of coronavirus. Alliance MLA Andrew Muir said a number of firms are currently experiencing difficult times as customer habits change in response to the worldwide viral outbreak.
08 January 2002
Virus closes hospital beds across province
Hospitals in Northern Ireland are struggling to deal with the effects of a common virus which has left people waiting on trollies for beds and caused a severe backlog in surgery. The virus, which affects patients and staff, comes as hospitals throughout the province struggle to cope with an increased number of patients because of winter illnesses.
12 April 2002
Causeway Hospital a sign of Executive’s “commitment to health”
The new Causeway Hospital is a visible sign that health is a major priority for the Northern Ireland Executive, the First Minister David Trimble and Deputy First Minister Mark Durkan, have said.