Cunningham: Save Dalriada Hospital

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Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on 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 , Chair of Moyle Council, has requested an emergency Council meeting with Senior Trust officials and is also organising a public meeting.

He said: “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.

“It is the height of irresponsibility to make a decision like this as we approach the winter months when acute healthcare services will become even more important.

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