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Health Minister responds to question about future of services at Causeway Hospital.

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On Monday 16th March, East Londonderry MLA Gregory Campbell tabled a question asking the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety how the delivery of services at the Causeway Hospital will change following the recent senior clinical staff appointments.

In response, the Minister said: The Northern Trust’s model for services in the Causeway Coast and glens area is based around an acute hospital in Coleraine with an emergency department and supporting clinical services, a well-developed intermediate care service and community teams evenly distributed across the area. In January, the trust made a number of new clinical appointments for the Causeway Hospital. The permanent appointments include consultants in surgery, gastroenterology, respiratory — these are hard — obstetrics, gynaecology and a consultant physician in internal medicine. All that I am drinking is water. A joint consultant cardiologist post with Altnagelvin Area Hospital is in the process of being recruited.

The Causeway Hospital, like several of the other smaller acute hospitals across Northern Ireland, has experienced challenges in attracting permanent staff to some of its specialities in the past. I am therefore pleased to see that the new permanent clinical staff have arrived on site. The trust is also recruiting a further three posts: a consultant in emergency medicine; a consultant physician in general medicine and care of the elderly; and a consultant physician with an interest in respiratory medicine. Those processes remain open. The appointments are good news for the people who use the Causeway Hospital, and it is expected that these permanent postings will enhance the continuity and quality of care for patients.

The response was welcomed by Mr Campbell, the SDLP’s MLA for East Londonderry, Mr John Dallat and North Antrim TUV MLA, Mr Jim Allister.

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