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Health Minister can no longer remain aloof from deteriorating situation at Tyrone County- Doherty

14 June, 2005

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty says he has been inundated with information from various sources all of which leads him to conclude that the dominant group within the Sperrin Lakeland Trust are using the findings of the Risk and Governance Report to completely remove all acute services from Tyrone County.

He said,

"When the Risk and Governance Report was made public the new NIO Health Minister Shaun Woodward said that his priority was to ensure that public confidence was restored in the services that were being provided and that urgent action was taken to ensure that patients were put first.

"However, since then the very opposite has happened with the Sperrin Lakeland Trust being allowed to act with full impunity in pursuing its agenda of removing all acute services from Tyrone County.

"In its ruthless determination to secure this outcome as speedily as possible many staff at Tyrone County have also been treated in an abysmal fashion by certain Trust officials. This is an absolute disgrace especially when one considers that staff at the hospital have been working well beyond the call of duty for some considerable time now.

"On 13th May and twice since then I have written to the Health Minister Shaun Woodward outlining the gravity of the situation and requesting an urgent meeting but as yet I have not even received an acknowledgement from him never mind a date for a meeting.

"Minister Shaun Woodward can no longer remain aloof from this deteriorating situation and today I have written him another letter calling on him to come to Omagh in person and to hear at first hand what has been going on since he gave the people of this area commitments following the release of the Risk and Governance Report." ENDS

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