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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Northern Trust gives assurances on future of acute services and ED at Causeway

Entrance to Causeway Hospital

An assurance has been given over the future of acute services and the Emergency Department at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

Speaking at a meeting of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust board on Thursday (22 June), Neil Martin, Divisional Director of Strategic Planning, said that acute services at the hospital, including the Emergency Department are a “key part of our network”.

Mr Martin was speaking as the Trust prepares to switch births from Causeway Hospital to Antrim Hospital on July 17. Home births in the Causeway area will still take place.

The Trust has also stated:

“Causeway Hospital is a key part of the Trust’s acute hospital network and we remain committed to maintaining acute services and an Emergency Department at the site.”

A campaign to save services at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine will move up a gear next month with a rally to be held on July 15 at the hospital site over an “ever-growing list of concerns”.

In a statement issued after the meeting, Gemma Brolly, chair of SOS Causeway Campaign, said:

“We in the SOS Causeway campaign will fight tooth and nail for our hospital to be treated equally to Antrim or any other. That applies to access to services, recruitment, investment, everything needed to ensure our community have equal access to a high standard of health care.”

Speaking at last week’s meeting, Mrs Brolly also commented:

“There is a very strong sense in the community this is the beginning of the end. We do not want to lose our hospital as it exists. We need a commitment from the Trust to sustain our hospital and not just to sustain it but to improve it.”

Trust board members were advised at the meeting that hospital Emergency Department waiting times published by NI Direct are average waiting times.

For example, at 11.45am on Monday June 26, this was 95 minutes at Causeway Hospital and 179 minutes at Antrim Hospital. At 3.00pm. it was 93 minutes at Causeway Hospital and 97 minutes at Antrim Hospital.

This information is updated hourly and states that waiting times at Emergency Departments can “change quickly without warning”.

Meanwhile, a review of waiting lists of patients awaiting services for addiction and eating disorders in the Northern Trust has taken place.

Petra Corr, Director of Mental Health, Learning Disability and Community Well-being, underlined the importance of these being addressed due to patients’ “physical vulnerability”.

“I would feel we are in a better place with regard to waiting times for addictions and eating disorders.”


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