Health Minister should halt cuts

30 11 2014

 

Protest Background 2

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has called on the Health Minister to halt the proposed cuts in response to the Chancellor’s announcement of a decision to spend an extra £2 billion on the UK health service.

The South Belfast MLA has called for a halt on proposed cuts this year and next year in the wake of the announcement that the Chancellor will put an extra £2 billion into front-line health services across the UK.
Mr McKinney said:
“This announcement of £2 billion extra funding for the UK Health service could result in the Northern Ireland Health Service receiving up to an extra £60 million.
“We all know of the pressures on the Northern Ireland Health Service is under and if there is any chance of more money, it should be welcomed.
“It is hoped that this extra funding will ease the growing pressures on front-line staff in the health service.
“Mr Wells should halt the cuts planned for this year and next year following this announcement and should rethink the budget once it has been confirmed how much the DHSSPS will receive from this funding.
“I plan to raise this issue as an Urgent Oral Question in the Assembly tomorrow. Patients should not have this uncertainty hanging over them.”





Cunningham brands Dalriada consultation ‘a fudge’

25 11 2014

 Stormont

SDLP Councillor and Chairman of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham has reacted angrily to the announcement of an eight week consultation into the temporary closure of Dalriada Hospital

Cllr Cunningham branded the decision a wasted opportunity and a fudge. He said:

 “I am furious at this decision. It is absolutely ludicrous that a consultation is to be carried out during a period of closure. Health Minister Jim Wells needed to use today’s Assembly debate as his opportunity to reverse the illogical Trust proposal and to maintain current services at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle.

 “We have presented ample evidence of how Dalriada Hospital contributes to the efficiency of the Acute Hospital sector and how it provides a major service to MS patients.

 “I am very disappointed by this decision at a time when the Minister needed to be standing up to the management of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.





Eight week reprieve for Dalriada not good enough

25 11 2014

 dalriada[1]

SDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney MLA has said that the Health Minister’s announcement of a delay to the closure of Dalriada hospital while a consultation is carried out is not good enough.

 Chairman of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham added that the decision has angered the local community and represents a total fudge.

 He said:

 “It will be clear for everyone to see that the Health Minister’s announcement of an eight week delay to the closure of Dalriada hospital while a consultation takes place is nothing more than a tokenistic attempt to manage the huge public backlash.

 “The Minister has made it clear that there will be no new admissions during this period. That means that Dalriada is still on the wind down. The campaigners- doctors, nurses, patients and carers will see this for exactly what it is. It is a stay of execution rather than any sincere attempt to reverse the decision.

 SDLP Chairman of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham said:

 “I am furious at this decision. It is absolutely ludicrous that a consultation is to be carried out during a period of closure. Health Minister Jim Wells needed to use today’s Assembly debate as his opportunity to reverse the illogical Trust proposal and to maintain current services at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle.

 “We have presented ample evidence of how Dalriada Hospital contributes to the efficiency of the Acute Hospital sector and how it provides a major service to MS patients.

“I am very disappointed by this decision at a time when the Minister needed to be standing up to the management of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.”





‘United Community Prayer’ for the future of Dalriada Hospital

22 11 2014

images[2]

Ballycastle Church Action invites you to the Sheskburn Centre for a ‘United Community Prayer’ for the future of Dalriada Hospital from 6.30pm to 7.00pm on Monday 24 November. Please come in big numbers.





McKinney tells Health Minister to take his own advice

19 11 2014

healthcareSDLP Health Spokesperson Fearghal McKinney MLA, has told the Health Minister to take his own advice. Following the Minister’s announcement on Trust waiting times, Mr McKinney said:

 “It is our belief that the Belfast Trust is being unduly impacted because of the actions of other Trusts. This is something the SDLP flagged up when cuts were made earlier in the year.

“In attempting to deal with waiting times relating to unscheduled care, the RQIA identified, ‘the need for better regional co-ordination, better information sharing between Trusts, better planning across and between Trusts and a clear strategic vision set by the Minister’.

“This approach is exactly what should apply in relation to the cutbacks that the Minister is backing right now.  In fact the approach should apply to all Health provision in the North as some of these latest cuts are going to impact not just locally but elsewhere.

“Trusts are acting completely contrary to the approach set out by the RQIA and it is our belief that some of those cutbacks, such as Dalriada, will stack up higher costs for other Trusts and impact on the budget overall.

“The Minister should take his own advice and put in place not only a taskforce looking at coordination, planning, and information sharing for unscheduled care, but for the Health Service as a whole. That would show vision.”





WHO IS IN CHARGE AT DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH?

15 11 2014

 

Dal 3SDLP health spokesperson Fearghal McKinney has said the Health Minster needs to explain to the people affected by closures at Dalriada Hospital and elsewhere just who is in charge at the department.

 Mr McKinney, speaking at the SDLP’s Annual Conference 2014, said:

 “The people of Ballycastle aren’t one bit impressed that the Health Minister Jim Wells is saying that he’s worried about the implications to Dalriada. He should be because his words show that he’s not in charge.

 “His Parliamentary Assistant is vowing to the people of Bangor that he’ll find the money to keep its minor injury unit open. But who is in charge? The minister is worried about Dalriada and his assistant is worried about Bangor. I believe the civil servants are in charge and Minister Wells is discovering that he’s nothing more than a bird in a gilded cage when it comes to decision making.

“The public are worried over both decisions. We also know that there is not a plan in place for the future of both, just more cuts. Let the minister announce now that he’ll stop the cuts until there is a proper review.

“Let the minister prove that if he is cutting anything, it will be consistent with a long-term plan to improve our Health Service and return proper services to the community. To do that, the minister needs to clarify just who is in charge at the Department of Health.”





Dalriada Hospital sacrificed as a result of the costs of Agency/Bank workers in Causeway Hospital

12 11 2014

Delivering Financial Balance  - Secuting Safe Services

Reacting to a Northern Health and Social Care Trust document entitled ‘Delivering Financial Balance – Securing Safe Services’ Ballycastle SDLP Councillor and Chairman of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham has claimed that the temporary closure of the MS Respite Care beds and 20 intermediate care beds at Dalriada Hospital is being proposed to reduce costs of Agency/Bank staff at the acute Causeway Hospital.

 In a section of the document dated October 2014 the Northern Health and Social Care Trust reveal that they hope to save £555k through the temporary closure of Dalriada Hospital, but go on to say that this saving will only be achieved through the redeployment of Dalriada staff to bolster the substantive staff and reduce the spend on Agency staff at the Causeway Acute Hospital.

 Councillor Cunningham continued “Dalriada hospital is the ideal template for the ‘Transforming Your Care’ objective of intermediate care provision, with bed occupancy of over 92% Dalriada Hospital provides support for rehabilitation and reablement for patients after an operation or illness.”

 “Dalriada and it’s services should not be the victim of a staff recruitment crisis at the Causeway acute Hospital, I am calling on the Health minister to overturn the decision to temporarily close Dalriada Hospital and to put the Northern Trust officials to work on the source of the problem which is the overuse of Agency staff at the Causeway acute hospital.”