Causeway A&E removal would significantly increase Ballycastle & Ballymoney ambulance times
The Health Minister has disclosed to North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay the average ambulance travel times from North Antrim villages and towns to Causeway and Antrim Area hospitals respectively. Mr McKay sought the figures for communities that would primarily go to Causeway Accident and Emergency unit.
Speaking today Mr McKay said:
“The figures show that there would obviously be an increase in travel times to Antrim Accident and Emergnecy. For example an ambulance from Ballycastle would take 40 minutes, 13 minutes longer than the time taken to travel to Causeway A&E at present.
"For other areas to travel to Antrim hospital: Ballymoney would take an extra 20 minutes (34minutes total), Rasharkin 10 minutes(36 minutes total) and Dunloy 5 minutes (26 minutes total). Figures were not available for Loughgiel, Armoy, Carey and Ballintoy.
“These ambulance travel times are significantly higher in Ballymoney and Ballycastle and I think in itself demonstrates the need for an A&E to remain to cover the huge rural area between Antrim and Altnagelvin; in particular those who reside in Ballymoney and Moyle districts as Ballymena district by and large would gravitate towards Antrim A&E which is closer.
“Aside from travel times though it is clear that there is no capacity in Antrim Area Hospital for the extra patients that would result in any closure at Causeway and it is the service provided at Coleraine that people want to see protected.”