SINN Féin councillors in Moyle raised serious concerns over the “Transforming your Care” Report with the Northern Health and Social Care Trust Chief Executive Sean Donaghy at a recent Council meeting.
Speaking after the meeting, Glens Sinn Féin Councillor Colum Thompson said: “I recognise that some of the 99 recommendations contained within the Compton Report are positive, in particular the recognition that intervention and prevention should be to the fore in any future health care. This is nothing new and was championed by Bairbre de Brún with the introduction of the “Investing for Health Strategy” during her tenure as Health Minister.”
Cllr Thompson continued: “I am disappointed to note that the report does not contain a suicide prevention strategy. This is an issue that cannot be ignored. Mental Health services are sporadic depending on where you live and a particular focus needs to be placed on a strategy for rural dwellers and young people.
“All too often facilities are available in urban centres, while rural communities such as the Glens are left out and isolated. It is important that any proposals implemented as a result of the Compton Report redresses the inequalities in areas like the Glens and doesn’t further deprive this community of vital services.”
Glens Sinn Féin councillor Noreen McAllister added: “The Compton Report raises more questions than answers and is particularly worrying for our rural constituency. Compton recommends a shift from acute services to community services and while I welcome this sentiment, the community and voluntary sector is already at breaking point in this economic climate. How does the Northern Trust intend to provide this enhanced community service and how are they going to be financed?”
Ballycastle Sinn Féin Councillor Cara McShane added: “This report has the largest implications for the future of Health Care provision in decades and the report is being presented to the people of the North as a “fait accompli”. I have called on the Health Trust to ensure there is a full Equality Impact Assessment (EQIA) carried out and a proper public consultation process, which to date has been farcical.”
Cllr McShane continued: “It is also important that all services currently provided by both the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine and Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle are enhanced and not diluted further. The Northern Health and Social Care Trust needs to state their intentions in relation to the MS Respite Unit in Ballycastle and the future of Dalriada Hospital and Causeway A&E.”
Glens Sinn Féin councillor Margaret Anne McKillop added: “We have very real concerns that the effect of many aspects of the Compton Review will create even longer ambulance waiting times, which is a critical problem in the Glens. Sinn Féin has met with the Northern Health Trust on many occasions and we will continue to do so because we need to highlight these issues. They affect the lives of too many people.”