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Sinn Féin raise concerns over latest health cuts

10 August, 2009 - by Cathal Boylan

Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has expressed deep concern over recent proposals from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust for new staffing arrangements for Day Care Centres and Residential homes.

Anxious constituents have approached Sinn Féin representatives worried about the provision of health care for their loved ones in the Armagh district. In its latest proposals the Trust is looking to reduce the provision of care for the elderly both in Day Centres and Residential homes.

Cathal Boylan said:

“Once again it seems to be an attack on frontline services, and I, along with the staff and patients, are seeing service provision for some of the most vulnerable people being swallowed up in efficiency savings. If these proposals are to be implemented these vital services will be reduced by October.”

The Newry and Armagh Assembly member continued:

“The new staffing arrangements will effectively lead to job losses, and this will in turn, seriously impact on the service that patients are currently receiving. Also, as a consequence, they could lead to the closure of some of these facilities in the future. We should be developing and upskilling those who deliver care for older people - instead the Southern Trust seem determined to remove services for the elderly completely.”

Sinn Féin Crossmore Councillor Darren McNally, has said that there is, ‘widespread anger and disappointment and a lack of confidence in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust within the District because of the recent decisions in relation to Mullinure, Longstone and St Lukes where the Trust put forward a flawed package to Armagh council regarding the three hospitals’.

Commenting on this recent decision, Cathal Boylan said he shared the disappointment with all those affected by the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey’s decision to support the Trust proposals.

He said:

“We must now ensure the staff, jobs and the provision of service are protected in these latest round of proposals and that services across the Southern Trust Area are not continually decimated; we must seriously question the Trust about why they continue to cut frontline services. The wellbeing of patients should be at the core of any proposals.” ENDS

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