Mid facing imminent closure
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
THE Northern Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed closure dates for inpatient Wards 2 and 3 at the Mid-Ulster Hospital.
During the monthly board meeting held at Hollywell Hospital, NHSCT executives announced that Ward 3 would close its doors on May 25, with Ward 2 due to close shortly after on June 8.
Moreover, Ward 6 is also due to close at some point this year.
Speaking last night about the imminent closures, campaign group Save The Mid said the dates may not be a reality, but rather another attempt like in the past to try and remove inpatient wards only for the Trust to realise it has insufficient capacity to bed all patients.
Suggestions to try and alleviate bed pressures came in two forms by the Trust during the meeting. These included requesting two to four beds from the new McMillan palliative care centre. And secondly, a capital expenditure of £350,000 on two porta-cabins that may accommodate up to 14 beds, however staffing issues have already been highlighted in this move.
In response to this, Save The Mid said: "How desperate can the Northern Trust be that they are to rob cancer patients of their beds, this is a disgraceful last ditch attempt for the Trust to justify the gross decision to remove the Mid-Ulster Hospital. I have requested an immediate meeting with the Trust to discuss this matter and have contacted McMillan on this issue.
“There is a structurally sound, well placed hospital that is lying empty in Mid-Ulster, in an area in need of hospital services. Antrim Hospital is half built when that fact is recognised by the Trust and by the Assembly can we truly move forward on the provision of health care in the Trust area."
Save The Mid added: "The Mid-Ulster hospital cannot be replaced by an ambulance service, that fact has been proven. Antrim hospital does not have the capacity to meet the demand placed on it that has been proven. There is a demand for services in Mid-Ulster, that has been proven, there is no supply of services in Mid-Ulster, that is factually true.
“The decision to remove Mid-Ulster hospital was plainly wrong. Adverse health implications have spread to A&E, outpatients, maternity, infection control C DIFF deaths, respite for young and elderly and now the Trust has sunk to the lowest of lows and targeted cancer patients," said Hugh.
“These people must be stopped, who controls our public health system, the public, public representatives or unelected health chiefs."