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Clarity over access to health and social care services is needed to reassure people they can get treatment when they need it – Sugden

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Claire Sugden
Claire Sugden
BT Coleraine

CLARITY over access to health and social care services is needed to reassure people they can get treatment when they need it, East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has said.

The MLA requested from the health minister, Robin Swann, such clarity and reassurance for concerned constituents – many of whom had contacted Ms Sugden about the issue. Constituents have expressed concern for their long-term health, worried they are not getting access to the treatment they need.

“COVID-19 restrictions meant many services were stood down or reduced, with difficult decisions having to be made on who could access services and whether it was safe for them to do so,” said Ms Sugden.

“Now, as we start easing lockdown restrictions, there are lots of people who have symptoms that they need to get checked by their GPs or in hospital. These people need reassurance and clarity that they will be able to access the services they need.”

She welcomed the minister’s focus to rebuild health and social services, but stressed the public needed clarity and reassurance so they had “confidence again to access healthcare and seek help for their ailments”.

“I will be pursuing this with the minister to ensure we get our health service back on track and hopefully better than before,” she said.

Members of the Western and Northern Health and Social Care Trusts wrote to Ms Sugden to outline “Step 1” of a plan to increase services throughout June.

There was also a checklist created by the Department of Health to make sure this step was taken while limiting the spread of COVID-19 within facilities.

“Health and social care trusts also cover essential provisions such as mental health services and care for adults with learning difficulties,” Ms Sugden said.

“These services also need to get restarted to provide the essential support to those who need it.”

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