Clarke Disappointed At Bed Closures At Downe Hospital

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Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke has expressed his disappointment that the Minister for Health Edwin Poots has been unable to give any assurances regarding possible bed closures at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick.

Councillor Clarke wrote to the Health Minister back in May following speculation that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust was considering temporary bed closures during the summer months.dn_screen Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “I am extremely disappointed that Minister Poots has been unable to give me any reassurances whatsoever regarding the closure and reduction in bed numbers during the summer months at the Downe Hospital in Downpatrick. “Following concerned constituents contacting me about speculation that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust were planning bed closures at the Downe Hospital over the summer months I raised the matter directly with the Health Minister. “Since January 2014 the downgrading and reduction in opening hours of the A & E Unit at the Downe Hospital is already causing major difficulty and time delays in patients being examined by medical staff due to patients being transferred to either Dundonald or the Daisy Hill Hospital. “Now with a busy summer tourist season upon us there is the possibility of some reduction in bed numbers being made temporarily during the summer period at the Downe Hospital which I find very disappointing due to the increase in visitors and tourists into County Down to places such as Newcastle. “Whilst the Health Minister has advised me that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust have no plans to close beds on a permanent basis on any ward in the Downe Hospital I am most dissatisfied that the Health Minister could not intervene and prevent any temporary closure or reduction at the Downe Hospital during the summer months. “Once again it seems the Downe Hospital is the poor relation of both the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust and the Department of Health through the downgrading and reduction in opening times of the A & E Unit and possible temporary bed closures.”]]>