Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Protest to reinforce concerns on Mid Ulster A&E

19 May, 2010 - by Michelle O'Neill

Sinn Féin MLA for Mid Ulster and deputy chair of the health Committee Michelle O’Neill will lead a protest of all of those concerned by the immediate closures of the Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey A&E units at Mid Ulster Hospital tomorrow at 11am.

This follows a weekend that saw trolley waits for people attending Antrim Area hospital the protestors will be calling for an urgent review of the proposed closure of two A&E units to take place.

Speaking today Ms O’Neill said:

“There is growing concern amongst local representative, staff at the Mid Ulster and the wider community that the decision to shut the A&E unit within a two week period moving all these services to Antrim hospital is hasty and does not bear justification as the proper infrastructure is clearly not in place.

“Sinn Féin met with the Chief Executive of the Northern Trust on Friday of last week to press him to change the decision to close the two A&E units in Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey and stressed that Antrim could not cope. It appears from this weekends events that our position is clearly vindicated.

“If we look at the medical records this time of year is not considered to be as busy for A& E departments. One can only imagine the chaos that would ensue during the winter when flu or falls due to bad weather are at their maximum

“Essentially a hospital that is already stretched to provide a full service had no choice but to place patients on trollies at the weekend is now being required to take in the capacity of another hospital within a week.

“This can hardly be considered a fair and equitable outcome from the perspective of staff at the hospital who are doing their best, and indeed a very good job, in what can only be described as unacceptable and unrealistic conditions.

“Nor can it be realistic to leave areas of mid Ulster with no A&E that is within reach of the so called golden hour, the time in which anyone should be able to reach an A&E in an emergency and this is why we are protesting.

“Those who have to power to make such a decision must now delay any moves towards the closure of hospital units until there is a clear indication that patients and staff entitlements and the fullest ability to care for people actually exists.”

Note to editor:

The protest will take place outside Mid Ulster A&E tomorrow, Thursday the 20th of May and will be attended by local elected representative, staff members and the local community.

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