Other News In Brief

Sinn Fein Call For Public Inquiry Into Muckamore Abbey

Sinn Fein has demanded the publication of the Serious Adverse Incident (SAI) report from the Muckamore Abbey care facility and called for a public inquiry into the hospital's practices.

Pat Sheehan's calls follow reports that a seclusion room at the facility was used over 740 times in 2015.

Searches have also been carried out across Northern Ireland by detectives investigating allegations of patient ill-treatment at the Antrim hospital.

"Seclusion is a highly complex and intrusive process. It should only ever be used as a last resort and for the least amount of time," the west Belfast MLA said.

"Confusion around the figures raises serious questions around record keeping and reinforces the need for the SAI report to be published in full. 

"We have consistently been raising a number of concerns with regard to Muckamore such as staffing levels and support, management and governance, and complaints procedures.

"Without a clear understanding of what happened and why it happened we cannot be confident it will not happen again. A public inquiry is needed to establish the truth of what happened at Muckamore and to hold those responsible for care failings to account to ensure these horrors never occur again."

Paramedics Are The Latest Victims Of SF & DUP Actions-Alliance
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An Alliance MLA has hit out at the continued inability of Sinn Fein and DUP, the parties with the two largest mandates in Northern Ireland, to work together and improve working conditions for paramedics serving the region.

Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw said the intransigence is leaving public servants "out of pocket" as they take on increased responsibilities but have not seen their pay band increase.

"This is just the latest example of public servants performing vital functions and seeing their standard of living directly affected by the DUP and Sinn Féin," the south Belfast MLA said.

"Bringing down the Executive and not having devolution always risked a period of drift with people's living standards declining as a direct result, a situation which has been exasperated by Brexit.

"I have written to the Permanent Secretary, asking him to address the issue of paramedic pay. However, the burden should not be on officials, no matter how senior.

"With the biggest mandates come the biggest responsibilities. The DUP and Sinn Féin continue to shirk theirs, and people are paying the price by being left thousands of pounds out of pocket versus the pay they are due."

Belfast Road To Close For £151,000 Resurfacing Project

A road in Belfast is set to close to allow for resurfacing works which will cost £151,000.

The project on Skegoneill Avenue will start on Monday 04 February and will stretch for approximately 600 metres between the Shore Road and Glandore Avenue.

It is hoped it will improve the strength and surface quality of the section of carriageway.

A daily closure will be in place between the hours of 9.30am and 4pm until Friday 15 February.

Diversions will be in place and will be signposted for motorists.


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