‘Breast cancer service must be retained’ - MP

Upper Bann DUP MP Carla Lockhart has written to Health Minister Robin Swann urging him to retain vital breast screening services at Craigavon Area Hospital.

A consultation on the closing of this service took place prior to the restoration of devolution with a decision pending.

Ms Lockhart at that time pressed for the retention of this vital service and worked alongside local lobby group Knitted Knockers who campaigned tirelessly to try and save this provision.

Speaking on the issue Carla Lockhart said:“The breast screening service at Craigavon Area Hospital saves lives.

“That is the stark reality of the importance of this service and why it must be retained by the Health Minister, Robin Swann.

“ It is within his gift to save this highly performing service.”

Ms Lockhart continued: “I have written to the Minister asking him to meet with the fantastic lobby group, Knitted Knockers, and myself to hear first hand the importance of this service and how this proposal to close the unit will have a detrimental impact to patient care.

“There are many powerful testimonies of the life saving work of this unit.

“Anyone who hears them cannot but be challenged as to the need to retain this service.

“This is a campaign that has drawn support from the whole community and all parties in Upper Bann.

“I urge the Minister to meet us and to reverse this proposal and help save local lives.”

Several hundred people, some cancer sufferers, attended a public consultation at Craigavon Civic Centre in June and voiced grave concerns at the possibility of the service closing.

Some health staff also shared misgivings and frustrations about proposals to close the service.