MLAs highlight issue of Causeway A&E situation

Two local politicians have paid tribute to the hard-working staff of the Accident and Emergency department at the Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

DUP David McIlveen MLA and Health Committee Member paid tribute to the tremendous work healthcare professionals do and welcomed investigations into the pressures experienced by A&E Departments at the beginning of January.

“Both Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway are seeing an increase in the number of people coming to A&E and staff have worked exceptionally hard to ensure a speedy and safe flow of patients,” he said.

“The Northern Trust were prepared for these challenges and introduced an additional 14 beds as well as a number of services including rapid access to community nursing, clinical assessment, diagnostic investigations such as X-ray, laboratory tests, endoscopy and acute outpatients as well as enhanced domiciliary care. Weekend working has also been increased on both hospital sites and in the community. I would urge people to use the most appropriate service to their need, in order for Emergency Services to be used for people in acute need who must have access to urgent treatment.”

UUP North Antrim MLA Robin Swann has called on the health minister to guarantee the Northern Health Trust has sufficient resources and funding to run a competent accident and emergency service at Coleraine’s Causeway Hospital.

Mr Swann asked the Minister of Health whether he will take steps to ensure an adequate provision for accident and emergency services is retained at the Causeway Hospital.

Minister Edwin Poots said: “The delivery of emergency department services at Causeway Hospital is a matter for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. The Trust has advised that the emergency department in the Causeway Hospital is an essential component of the unscheduled care response in the Northern Trust and maintaining emergency services in Causeway is a Trust priority.”

Mr Swann said: “While this answer from the Trust is very welcoming, the health minister must guarantee in the future that proper funding and resources will be in place to enable the Trust to provide this service at the Causeway.”