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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

Trust considers 'vision for Causeway Hospital' but concerns continue over the future of services at site

Causeway Hospital, Coleraine

Causeway Hospital, Coleraine

“Causeway Hospital will remain an important part of the Trust’s acute hospital network,” the chief executive of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust has said.

Speaking at a meeting of the Trust board on Thursday morning, Jennifer Welsh said that the Trust “remains committed to maintaining acute services and an emergency department” at Causeway Hospital in Coleraine.

The chief executive told members that during the consultation regarding the future of maternity services, there were discussions regarding the need for a ‘Vision for Causeway Hospital’.

The consultation took place ahead of a transfer of hospital births from Causeway Hospital to Antrim Hospital last July following a decision by the Department of Health.

The chief executive reported there have been two engagement sessions with staff to date, “as the Trust starts to develop a vision for the future of the hospital” and following engagement with staff, a ‘Strategic Vision for Causeway’ would be developed and published.

She stated this vision would “reiterate the Trust’s commitment and will outline the areas that can be strengthened and developed on the site, to help the Trust secure further investment and attract workforce to the site”.

She also reported ar £1.2m investment in the rooftop installation of solar panels at Causeway Hospital. saying it will “help the Trust reduce running costs, and importantly, will help reduce the Trust’s carbon footprint through generating our own electricity to run the hospital”.

Smaller scale solar projects are planned at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle and at the Route Complex in Ballymoney as well as a solar installation and replacement window scheme at the Mid-Ulster Hospital, in Magherafelt.

However, campaign group SOS Causeway Hospital fears a “domino effect” following the transfer of hospital births to Antrim Hospital.

Speaking at a previous Trust board meeting, SOS Causeway Hospital chair Gemma Brolly stated:

“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.”

In a recent interview with BBC Radio Foyle, Gemma said:

“Now we find ourselves in an extremely concerning place where we are going to be faced with another consultation following a review of general surgery.

“We are now in the same position again and we only have to look down the road to Daisy Hill to see what happened there."


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