SAVE THE MID - http://savethemid.weebly.com/
Health & Social Care Board Review Group Meeting, Ballymena 14th Nov 2011
The health review group headed by John Compton held its meeting at the show grounds in Ballymena, this event was very poorly attended. There were only 10 signatures on the register, 5 of which were from the campaign group Save The Mid, others in the audience were a community pharmacist from Kells, Women's Aid and Real Fathers For Justice.
Considering the scale and scope of this review that will lay the foundation of the provision of health and social care is was concerning that so few attended to give their views, the Northern Heath trust area has a estimated population of over 490,000 residents. The Patient & Client Council also were in attendance, they also brought the same person who chaired the Patient And Client Council and on several occasion like the previous debate the chair prevented the public from asking questions and engaging with the panel.
On the panel was among others, John Compton and Olivia Dornan from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust.
Issues that were raised:
- A&E provision, issues of waiting times, people laying in trolleys and chairs in A&E were mentioned.
- Rural Transport, the lack of public or funded community rural transport was mentioned to the panel
- Domestic violence against men, women and children, mentions were given to an increase in awareness of domestic violence in older persons and it was acknowledged that there is not one bed or place of refuge for a male victim of domestic violence or a safe place of refuge for a father and his child who are vicitms.
- Consultants giving more priority to private patients
- Social services & child abuse, the performance of social workers in parental separations and their waiting times to close cases about children who have been the victim of child abuse
- The panel were also asked on if they think the public will believe the information that they are giving out due to the amount of disinformation in public consultations in the past.
- The panel could not answer the question on if they thought a rapid response vehicle could replace a A&E in Mid Ulster, although they will en-devour to liaise with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service
- The relocation of Dalriada Doctor on call from Moneymore to the Mid Ulster Hospital site.
Many other questions remained unanswered despite the panel allowing more time, in all the review group seem confident according to John Compton that they can bring waiting times down to the same level as they were at the end of March 2010 by March 2011. Despite this statement by Mr Compton health waiting times at March 2010 although better than they currently are are still only a fraction below the worst waiting times in Northern Ireland's history.
Mr Compton also praised the British Medical Association for the support for his review, the BMA also slammed the decision to remove acute services from the Mid Ulster Hospital site it will remain to be seen if the review group will take this into consideration. When asked if he will take into consideration in there view past decisions to remove Mid Ulster Hospital based on the Health Minister Edwin Poots stating int he Assembly that Mid Ulster was run down there was not comment.
The public consultation that is available online is due to shut by the 16th November, the panel were asked if they would consider extending this deadline until they have finished their public meetings on the 23rd of November in Armagh, again this was not answered, this was reiterated by the Patient & Client Council.
Save The Mid Chairman was again not allowed to openly debate the issues with the panel, the meeting was Chaired by Patient & Client Council member Dr Maureen Edmondson, the same person who chaired the Patient & Client Council meeting the previous month. During that meeting she again did not allow the chair of Save The Mid to openly debate a panel which included CEO of the Northern Trust Sean Donaghy, during the debate she also directed Sean Donaghy that he did not have to answer the questions posed, at this Save The Mid left the public meeting for patients in protest.