SDLP Meets Health Chief on Compton Review

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Wednesday, January 18th, 2012
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SDLP MLA’s Karren McKevitt Dominic Bradley and Dolores Kelly (Deputy Leader) with Councillors Sean Rodgers and John McArdle
A delegation of SDLP representatives including SDLP Deputy Leader Dolores Kelly MLA, Dominic Bradley MLA, Karen McKevitt MLA, Cllrs Sean Rogers and John McArdle along with Gary Stokes, Chair of the Newry SDLP Branch have met with the Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust Ms Máiréad McAlinden to discuss the implications of the proposals arising from the Compton Review of Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. Commenting after the meeting Mr Bradley said, ‘The SDLP wants to ensure that the present status of Daisy Hill Hospital is maintained into the future. Daisy Hill covers a wide, largely rural catchment area stretching into South Armagh, South Down and North Louth. The topography of this area is such that journey times to other hospitals can be longer than the ‘golden hour’ which is so important in the case of major trauma. We welcome the recent investments and development at the hospital and believe that these should be built upon and not diminished in any way. Daisy Hill has a very busy emergency department which sees over 36,000 patients each year. Investment has enabled the size of the A&E department to be doubled.” Bradley added, “The Compton review recognises that Daisy Hill emergency department sees 95% of patients within four hours and meets waiting time standards. This excellent record speaks for itself and should be an important consideration in the future of services at the hospital.” Councillor Sean Rogers, who was one of the leaders in the campaign for the retention of the Slieveroe residential care home, said that he was concerned at Compton’s views on residential care. “I wonder if this is what the people of Northern Ireland want? In my experience families and residents are very content about the level and standard of care available to them in residential accommodation and they would take a very dim view of proposals to close highly regarded facilities. All of this raises the question of consultation on the Compton proposals, will we be afforded the right to express our views on them or will they be railroaded through? The SDLP will be responding in full to the review and we believe that these proposals should be fully consulted on.” Karen McKevitt MLA said that she welcomed the commitment to greater cross-border co-operation in the Review. “There is plenty of potential to share services on a cross-border basis to the benefit of patients in both jurisdictions. We have already seen good work done in the respect in renal and emergency services by Daisy Hill Hospital but there is still untapped potential. The Minister needs to designate a senior official to develop north-south co-operation in health to ensure that the fullest possible benefits accrue to all our population. I will be urging the Mr Poots to make an appropriate designation in this respect as soon as possible.”

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