Allister asks more about Dalriada battle

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Jim Allister has asked the Department of Health asking why “petitions opposing closure of Dalriada Hospital have been confiscated by an administrator” in Causeway Hospital.

The Northern Trust said: “Petitions that had been removed have been forwarded to the Trade Union Office in Causeway Hospital. The Trust had not been approached about the intention to make the petitions available and, now having been made aware, has provided an area inside the main hospital entrance where people can sign petitions”.

Meanwhile the TUV leader also said: “The admission to me by the Health minister, during Assembly Question Time on Monday, that his predecessor, earlier this year, had given a written assurance on the future of Dalriada Hospital, introduces a radically new dimension into the debate on its proposed closure.

“By such correspondence Minister Poots, and thereby the department, raised a ‘legitimate expectation’ that there would be no closure. Yet, now, under the same department, this is what is being attempted. As I suggested to Minister Wells, this places a bounded duty on him to honour that pledge and reverse the contrary decision of the Trust.

“I will continue to press the minister on this issue. It also seems to me to strengthen any judicial review, as creating a ‘legitimate expectation’, and then defaulting on it, is a proper ground for such a challenge.

“Minister Wells should now do the decent thing and stand by the assurance given.”