Ulster Unionist Party local council candidates met at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine recently to urge that the future of the facility “must be set in stone”.
Ballymoney Ulster Unionist Party representatives Cllr. Tom McKeown and Darryl Wilson said: “Since the closure of the Route hospital in Ballymoney, local people rely heavily on the Causeway Hospital and therefore the retention of the hospital is vital. This is a service worth fighting for and we will do our utmost to ensure it is retained.
“Ulster Unionist Councillors and Party representatives in Coleraine, Moyle, Ballymoney and Limavady have all joined forces to fight for a guarantee from the Health Minister that the Causeway Hospital will be retained and services protected and even enhanced to serve the people of the new Council area. “
Darryl Wilson said: “The new Council area has one of the highest levels of elderly and retired people in Northern Ireland, that the population of the area increases dramatically in Summer due to a healthy tourism industry and that we have a wide variety of challenging sports activities.
“Given these facts it is imperative that local hospital services are protected for the wellbeing and safety of the population of Causeway Coast and Glens District Council.”
Tom McKeown said: “In particular, it is important to ensure that emergency services are fully protected and are viewed by both Northern and Western Trusts as a core part of emergency response. Services could be enhanced through better communication with GPs in order that patients can be seen quicker and in a more efficient manner.
“GPs should extend their surgeries to provide specialist treatments and quick efficient advice which might lead to the need for fewer referrals to Accident and Emergency thus freeing up the backlogs at that point.
More accountability is now required within the system, it could start with performance targets and the resulting outcomes being published and displayed at the point of service delivery.”
The Ulster Unionist representatives concluded by pledging to be a strong force in ensuring a bright future for the Causeway Hospital and improving its services to the people of the entire Causeway Coast and Glens area.