EAST Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell is to have a further meeting shortly with the Chief Executive of the Northern Health Trust as uncertainty persists about the future of the A&E Department and Acute status at the Causeway Hospital.
Mr Campbell has met with the Health Minister Edwin Poots, the Chief Executive of The Northern Health Trust and senior health professionals over the past year to discuss the future of the hospital.
In a reply to a question tabled by Mr Campbell following the publication of the Compton Report in December, Mr Poots said it was down to “Local Commissioning Groups and Health and Social Care Trusts initially to develop plans for their respective populations which take account of the principles and criteria set out in the review.”
Mr Campbell said: “This is why I am keen to meet with the Trust yet again to ensure that the most robust case possible is presented by them for the retention of an acute hospital at the Causeway to the Minister and his Department.
“There is no doubt that we must examine the ways in which a changing health care service is delivered in a time of severe financial restraints.
“There is also no doubt whatever that local people want to see good quality services delivered, which is what the population of the Causeway Coast currently have at their local hospital.
“The population served by the Causeway Hospital wants to see all elected representatives irrespective of political opinion doing what they can to ensure the best possible outcome to this review, that is my position, hopefully it will be shared by all other representatives.”
Coleraine Sinn Fein councillor Ciaran Archibald says that acute services at the Causeway Hospital must be secured.
The Bann councillor supported a protest last Wednesday against cuts outside the hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit.
“I have had personal experience of the effectiveness of Coleraine A&E three years ago when my wife had a brain haemorrhage.
“Were it not for the speed of the ambulance response and excellent care she received in Coleraine A&E before being moved to the Neurosurgery unit at the Royal, we don’t even like to think of the alternative.”
“If Acute Services in Causeway A&E are cut the closest hospital with this vital service is Antrim or Altnagelvin and that’s quite a distance further to travel.”