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Out of hours proposals don’t go far enough – Caitríona Ruane MLA

5 July, 2007

Commenting on last week's publication of proposals for out of hours' provision in the Mournes, Sinn Féin Assembly Member Caitríona Ruane said:

"What is on offer for Kilkeel is still inadequate, especially as the proposal is dependent on the closure of the current Minor Injury Unit based at Brooklands.

"Considering the saving which will be made if Brooklands is closed, then at the very least we should have locally assessable cover, Monday to Thursday from 8.00pm to 12.00 midnight; Friday and Saturday's 8.00 pm 1.30am and on Sundays and public holidays 12.00 am to 3.30pm and 8.00 pm to 12.00 midnight.

"This would be a significant improvement on what is currently available and go some way to meeting the needs of the people of Mourne and improving what is currently an inadequate service "

"Finally, I would pay tribute to the panel who have sat and examined this complex issue over the past number of months. Their task has not been an easy one as they have been expected to come up with replacing the inadequate level of care available to people in the Mournes. However, what is currently being proposed will not provide the necessary level of care that people in the Mournes have a right to expect and I would urge them to revise their plans and extend the GP out of hours cover in the Kilkeel/Annalong area." ENDS

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