North Antrim Sinn Féin MLA Daithí McKay has said that the Health Minister was ‘fooling no-one’ by continuing to state there was reducing demand for the MS Centre at Dalriada.
He said that figures clearly show that referrals to the Dalriada all started to reduce at the same time, indicating that there was a decision made to ensure that the Unit did not get further admissions by not giving MS patients the option or inform MS patients about the Dalriada service. The information was disclosed in an answer to a question Mr McKay put to the Minister.
Mr McKay said: “This information clearly shows that all Trusts recorded a significant fall in admissions for respite to the Dalriada since 2007/08 which is not in keeping, at all, with the trend shown in the years immediately previous to that.
“Coupled with that is the fact, which we have known for some time, that MS patients were not made aware of the Dal as an option for respite and in some cases were discouraged and blocked from using it.
“This all demonstrates that the MS Unit has been run down and the fact that the Minister will not allow admissions to the unit during the consultation about its future shows that he is dancing to the tune of the Northern Trust.”