A spokesperson for the Board said they accepted the Trust’s view that changes to the opening hours at the Lagan Valley Hospital Emergency Department is “unavoidable”.
“The Board is working with the Trusts to commission alternative temporary arrangements to ensure that everyone in Northern Ireland, including communities in the greater Lisburn and Downpatrick areas, have access to safe, sustainable and high quality urgent care services,” he said.
“The Board is working very closely with South Eastern, Belfast, Southern, Northern and Ambulance Trusts to ensure that the changes can happen smoothly and safely and any potential disruption to services is minimised. The Board has also asked the South Eastern Trust to take appropriate steps to ensure the local community is fully informed of the temporary arrangements.
“Additional services are being put in place during the transitional period. There will be extra beds in the Royal Victoria Hospital and additional emergency nursing staff at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Ulster Hospital and Craigavon Area Hospital. The number of GPs providing Out of Hours will also be increased in Lisburn and Downpatrick.
“The Board and South Eastern Local Commissioning Group will be working with the South Eastern Trust to accelerate plans for the long term future for the Downe and Lagan Valley Emergency Departments,” he concluded.