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‘Respite services must be saved’ - Gildernew

30 November, 2017 - by Michelle Gildernew

Sinn Féin MP Michelle Gildernew has insisted that every possible action must be taken to reinstate respite services for children in palliative care in the Western Health Trust area following the suspension of Horizon West.

The Fermanagh South Tyrone MP said:

“While there have been difficulties in securing enough specialist nursing staff to maintain this service, it is unacceptable that these vital services have been suspended. 

“The decision to suspend Horizon West respite services for critically ill children is a huge blow to families relying on palliative care, and to those in the wider Western Trust area.  

"These children and their families are dealing with incredibly difficult illnesses, and every effort must be made to avoid placing them under increased stress.

"Recently I have been engaging with the Western Trust to stress the importance of an all-Ireland approach to children’s palliative care which may go some ways in addressing this staff shortage.  

"An all-Ireland system of dual regulation would allow local services to attract specialist nurses from throughout Ireland, addressing these regulation and registration challenges.

“As MP for this area I will urgently be seeking a meeting with Trust officials, the Department of Health and NI Hospice to ensure that every step is taken to reverse this devastating decision.”

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