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.”

Save Dalriada Hospital

30 10 2014



Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham is calling on the Health Minister Jim Wells to immediately halt plans to close the Dalriada Hospital after this morning’s announcement that 20 intermediate care beds would close from the end of November to the end of the financial year effectively meaning the closure of the hospital.

Councillor Cunningham who is the current Chair of Moyle Council has requested an emergency Council meeting with Senior Trust officials and is also organising a public meeting continued:

“This is a flawed decision, which I am asking the Health Minister to reverse. I spent this afternoon in the hospital with staff and patients, many of whom were reduced to tears at the news.”

“I also met with senior Trust officials on site who outlined their plans which are part of a range of measures, in order to bridge a £6.9million year end pressure. This will mean that intermediate care and MS Centre patients and staff will transfer to other local hospitals. This is entirely unacceptable, and completely overlooks the dedication and professionalism of the staff in the Dalriada Hospital.”

“I am asking people of the area to fight like never before to save Dalriada Hospital.”