"No change to A&E" says McGimpsey

THE Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey visited Causeway Hospital on Wednesday in a bid to allay fears over the future of the A&E department.

Speaking at Causeway Hospital, the Minister said: "I am aware there has been a lot of public concern about the provision of acute services at the Causeway Hospital.

"I would like to take this opportunity to reassure the community that there are no plans to change Accident and Emergency services at the Causeway Hospital, indeed steps have been taken to sustain services on a 24 hour, seven day week basis.

"For the Northern Trust area, that means acute services, including Accident and Emergency, will be provided at Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway Hospital with two smaller hospitals, the Mid Ulster and Whiteabbey acting as local hospitals with Minor Injuries Units."

After visiting Causeway Hospital, the Minister then met with GPs in the Portrush Health Clinic.

The visit provided the Minister with the opportunity to meet with the GPs, their staff, the Chair of the Patient Participation Group and patients.

Speaking during the visit, the Minister said: "I have heard at first hand the difficulties currently facing GPs due to budget cuts and I have heard the views of patients on front line health services.

"During these difficult financial times, GP practices increasingly have to deal with patients with more complex and long term conditions and I will continue to fight for and support the excellent work that they do.

"I would like to thank all health care workers for all their hard work in delivering a high quality health and social care service for the all the people in Northern Ireland."