Other News In Brief

Graham And Bam JV Scoop Prestigious Award

A joint venture between construction firms Graham and Bam have scooped a prestigious award for their work on the Ulster Hospital Phase B2 – General Ward Block in Dundonald.

The Graham-Bam Healthcare Partnership scooped the Most Considerate Site at this year's Considerate Constructors Scheme's 2017 National Site Awards in the category of projects with a value of £50million and over.

Graham was also presented with five silver and two bronze awards for sites throughout the country.

The work at the hospital involves ongoing construction of a new, seven-storey ward building that will accommodate a procedural area on the ground floor with four upper floors of 288 en-suite bedrooms within 12 inpatient wards. The 30,000 sq m development has been designed to achieve the highest building and infection control standards.

Graham-Bam Healthcare Partnership Director Peter Reavey, said: "This is a fantastic achievement for the team and reflects the hard work over the last four years. Ulster Hospital is a state-of-the-art building designed to provide specialist care at the highest level, and by drawing on our strong track record of delivering world-class medical facilities we are confident in our ability to deliver this important facility for the area and to the highest standard."

Consultation On Future Of A&E At Daisy Hill Hospital Postponed

Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has welcomed the postponement of a consultation on the future of A&E at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, but warned it demonstrates the urgency needed to restore the Executive.

The temporary postponement follows warnings from the Southern Health Trust the emergency service at the hospital was unsustainable, as it relied too heavily on locums.

South Belfast MLA Ms Bradshaw said the issue had caused significant concern and dismay due to any consultation appearing to be a last resort to save money rather than as part of an overall strategy to improve care.
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"My colleague Councillor Patrick Brown and I have lobbied to emphasise the unacceptability of making significant decisions over the future of healthcare services in the area based on budgets rather than people.

"I am concerned the consultation on options will go ahead without any apparent sense of how it fits into the overall strategy for transformation of our health and social care system. The very core of every expert report we have had on the issue is the silo mentality has to be overcome by a broad sense of a cohesive service responding to patients' needs more effectively and efficiently."

Total Silence From Education Dept Is Exacerbating - Barton

Ulster Unionist Education Spokesperson, Rosemary Barton MLA, has warned that the total silence from the Education Department is exacerbating the budget concerns currently being felt by schools across Northern Ireland.

She said: "There is a real sense of fear setting in across many of our schools. I have spoken to several school principals since the Secretary of State’s announcement in Parliament and there is a palpable sense of dread at what many see as further inevitable and unsustainable cuts.

"For many, more major in-year savings are simply unachievable. Perhaps if they were given more notice, or if they actually knew what the budget they were meant to be operating from this year is, they would be in a much stronger position.

"Whilst there has been much reporting of 2.5% reduction to the Education Department, from my sources the reality is likely to be somewhat different. There is almost a further £100m yet to be allocated, between a combination of a carry-over of cash from last year and a £40m Barnett consequential. I have been assured that Education has already been identified as a likely final beneficiary of a proportion of this money.

"So whilst I am glad that the budget may not be quite as bad as it first seems, the ongoing silence from the Education Department and Education Authority is only allowing a vacuum to develop."


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