MS respite closure is ‘total disgrace’ says Paisley

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North Antrim MP Ian Paisley Jr has hit out at the annoucement to temporarily close the MS respite at Dalriada Hospital, Ballycastle.

In a statement to the Times, he demanded an urgent meeting with the Health Minister next week.

He continued: “I have spoken to a senior doctor on the site and it is clear the plan is a total disgrace. The staff and patients are in turmoil. This is a major MS hospital, it is a recuperation unit for patients having had hip operations. Where will these patients go?

“The saving of closing it is minuscule, merely £500k, yet the impact is a major one. A rural community will be left with yet another hole in its employment and its services. I have demanded an urgent meeting with the Health Minister next week and will be meeting him at Stormont on Monday morning.

“The Health Minister’s department informed me that these proposals have been put forward as temporary measures from the Trust in an attempt to sustain itself until the end of the financial year.

“I shall also be looking to meet with the Trust in the immediate future to seek a commitment over the long term future of the hospital beyond March 2015.

“It is vital that a degree of clarity is established immediately given the magnitude of the announcement made to the hospital’s shocked workforce this morning and I look forward to gaining this clarity from the minister in our meeting next week.”