Archive for the 'Health / Local Services' Category

Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

ASDFG

Enright Slams Trust For Cutting Downe A&E Hours

Councillor Enright got versions of the letter below into the Irish news, Newsletter, Mourne Observer, Down Recorder and Down News. (click here)
Sir,

re: Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

2014 has opened with widespread anger around Downpatrick and District at the sudden announcement by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust that they are experiencing a critical shortage of medical staff in both the Downe and Lagan Valley Emergency Departments and were thus forced to cut back on weekend working. This leaves local doctors operating an ‘Out of Hours’ at weekends and night-time at the Downe on their own.

The Monday before Christmas I attended a 3 1/2 hour emergency meeting between the Trust and local elected representatives at the Down Civic Centre  in the Downshire Estate on the Ardglass Road to demand answers on why Accident and Emergency services were being cut at weekends with suggestions that we travel to the Ulster hospital instead.

We were able to extract a promise from Trust management that when sufficient staff had been recruited, normal service would resume. The Trust also promised to brief us on progress towards this goal.

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Suspicions exist that Lisburn and Downpatrick are being sacrificed to enable the Ulster to build up its numbers to resist being culled when the realization hits that we don’t need four major hospitals in Belfast. 45% of admissions to the Ulster are already from Belfast. Real people live beyond Carryduff.

The inability to recruit and retain middle-grade doctors to work in A&E points to poor planning and raises issues about the competency of Health Service management over a 15 year period since this problem has become widely acknowledged.  Solutions should have been found long ago.

At a time of huge graduate unemployment and emigration only 250 doctors are being trained every year in the North. Of these 100 are overseas students who will return home, and an average of 50 are emigrating annually on graduation.

You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out that we should have been training at least 100 more per annum for many years, and that Trusts ought to be allowed to sponsor students who agree to work in scarce specialities for a number of years after graduating.

Roads infrastructure in South Down is very different compared to Lisburn or the Ulster which are minutes away from a selection of A&E hospitals in Belfast, Craigavon and Antrim. Some parts of Down District would require travelling 40 miles to the Ulster Hospital A&E or Daisy Hill in Newry. This is just unacceptable. Several local people described to me how that they would have died had they not been treated at Downe A&E over the last few years.

A solution must be found soon.

Yours,

Cllr Cadogan Enright

Downpatrick

 

COUNCILLOR ENRIGHT COLLECTS THOUSANDS OF LOCAL SIGNATURES FOR A&E CAMPAIGN

Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department's return.

Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department’s return.

In addition to the 2600 signatures he collected in Saul, Raholp, Strangford, Kilcleif, Ballyhornan, Chapeltown and Killough, Cadogan Enright collects more signatures at Ballynahinch Rugby Club to prevent the closure of the A&E department in the Downe Hospital. Many sporting clubs agreed that the Accident and Emergency service was essential. Cllr Enright collected signatures at Dunleath park, Ballynahinch Rugby club and sent petitions to over 50 GAA clubs in the surrounding area.

MALONE PENSIONERS SEEK ACCESS TO TOWN BUS SERVICE

At a meeting in Malone Heights between Translink management and local residents last week organised by Independent Councillor Cadogan Enright, pensioners explained to Translink why they needed access to the Town Bus network.

Malone Residents Committee, Anne Monkhouse standing with Cllr Cadogan centre and residents spokesperson Cormac Wylie on the right

Malone Residents Committee, Anne Monkhouse standing with Cllr Cadogan centre and residents spokesperson Cormac Wylie on the right

Spokesperson Cormac Wylie said “We have many elderly or incapacitated people in Malone, most of whom have bus passes. Malone has the steepest, longest, uphill walk in Downpatrick that is hard even for fit people to go up. Access to the Town Bus means we can access the bus station, ASDA, the Cinema, hospital and doctors surgeries from our front doors.

Councillor Enright said, “In response to Translink concerns about ‘Health and Safety’ and their worry about there being no turning circle in Malone, residents noted that bin lorries, oil tankers and delivery trucks all manage to turn without danger and that the pavements and roads are quite generous in Malone. There are at least 2 safe locations for the Town Bus to turn. This is not a full size bus, so we feel that Translink worries about ‘health and safety’ are overblown.”

Resident Anne Monkhouse provided a petition from the Malone Way end of the area, and other roads are being canvassed at this time with a petition and a survey to see how many other residents would be interested in accessing the service.

Translink undertook to see if they could identify a safe area to turn on the estate, and to check if including Malone could be included in the current services without disruption to the timetable.

Councillor Enright advised any residents who have not seen the survey form to contact Anne Monkhouse or Cormac Wylie as Translink also have to justify the service in terms of number of potential customers.

CONEY ISLAND RESIDENTS PROTEST

Coney Island residents write in protesting over lack of flood protection and support Cllr Cadogan Enrights complaints in this issue

Strangford Journalist speaks out on A and E

Marie Louise McCrory speaks for Strangford and for us all.

I collected A and E petitions in Strangford village all last week, getting the last of them from Fr McGrady at Stella Maris Church today.

Here are the views of one person who was in  Stella Maris Church

DOWNPATRICKS FUTURE DEPENDS ON SAUL ROAD DEVELOPMENT – sent to papers today – copy my points for your objection

SAUL ROAD – PLANNERS MUST GET IT RIGHT

Sir,             (NOTE use reference R/2013/0544f to object when writing to Planning Office in Rathkelter House, Market St. DPK)

The huge new housing development proposed for the Saul Road in Downpatrick, is going to be the litmus test of the sincerity and professionalism of the Roads Service and Planning Service in Down District.

For years the Roads Service has been saying that any ring-road around Downpatrick must be ‘developer-led’. I.E. Paid for by developers of the land in question. This development parallels the route of the ‘Eastern Distributor Road’ shown in the development plan, and therefore must be built off that road, and not the Saul Road.

Planners put this ring road in the ‘Area Plan’ for Downpatrick. It links the Hospital to the Belfast Road by crossing the Ballyhornan, Saul and Strangford roads in a wide arc. It would dramatically reduce congestion in Downpatrick, and allow the Southern side of the town to be developed in line with the expansion envisaged in the Area Plan. The new upgraded Sewerage plant was constructed to accommodate up to 20,000 people with this in mind.

We were told that without this link road, development would be restricted on that side of the town.

But instead of following the Area Plan, this development proposes to discharge onto the already congested Saul Road, orientated to overlook and dominate Ardenlee. This development should be orientated away from Ardenlee and built along the new link road. When the new hospital was built, they were forced to deliver the bit of the ring-road off the Ardglass Road roundabout . This development must be one of the next links in the chain. Developers need to understand that this vision for Downpatrick serves their interests too.

The Roads Service and the Planning Service now have a chance to deliver what they have been talking about for years. If they fail, politicians must intervene. They should note that after the May elections Councillors will have the power to set planning policy, and will be able to insist that the Area Plan is delivered for the benefit of the whole town.

If planners fail Downpatrick on this one, we will be left with congestion, an inability to deliver potential growth and jobs locally and with the Hospital ‘marooned’ on the wrong side of town giving the bureaucrats up at the Ulster Hospital a further excuse to cut our local services.

Yours etc

Cllr Cadogan Enright

A SIMPLE WAY TO COLLECT PETITIONS FOR DOWN HOSPITAL A and E campaign

Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen stools with posters on and clip-boards on top – works great – I got hundreds of signatures with them in Downpatrick Leisure Centre. AND you can put them in the back of a car and go to the next meeting or shop or Church. On a sports field you can lean on them and the legs go into the ground and they don’t blow over.

RUGBY CLUB SUPPORTS THE DOWNE A and E

Ballynahinch Rugby Club invited Councillor Enright to set up a stand at the club last Saturday to collect signatures of the Downe 24-hour accident and emergency campaign. Club members also assisted in manning the table and announcements were made drawing spectators attention to the campaign.

Rugby Club gathers signatures for the Down accident and emergency

Cllr Enright works with Rugby Club to gather signatures for the Down accident and emergency

Club members expressed anger and frustration that Down sports clubs were being denied such an essential facility at weekends. Ballynahinch RFC is Down Districts premier Rugby Club and fields 7 Adult teams, 4 Youth teams and 220 Mini Rugby players every weekend. This is more than any other club in Ireland. Ballynahinch is also the only Ulster club to achieve representation in top division of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland league.

Honorary Secretary Richard Hart said “Local sportspeople need the reassurance of accidents and emergency being opened at weekend, this club has regular need of A&E facilities and we unambiguously support the campaign for the Down A and E.”

Club member John Thompson agreed and pointed out that this affects all teams in all sports. He said that to his personal knowledge there had been 5 incidents at the Green High in the last year where A& E was required. Down High PE teacher and rugby coach Charlie Knox agreed and estimated that there were approximately 12 sporting incidents a year needing support of the A and E at the school.

Councillor Enright said, “it is clear that sports clubs across the District support this campaign. On Saturday morning in Dunleath Park I collected hundreds of signatures from local soccer teams until we were rained off. Almost every coach on every team emphasized the need for local A and E services. On Friday evening I took the petition to the Down  GAA HQ in Castlewellan who immediately dispatched it to all 48 local GAA clubs asking club secretaries to organize the collection of signatures at every club.”

Annual report to voters and constituents in Downpatrick

Dear Constituent,
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy New Year.

I am delivering my 8th annual report to every house in Downpatrick to explain to you on how I have been representing your views on Down District Council and other agencies. I am the only local councillor to deliver an annual report to every house in Downpatrick.

Here is the electronic version  Cadogan Enright DPK Report January 2014

This newsletter can only be a summary my work for you over the last year. My website provides much more detail – see
 www.enright.ie  or search for ‘Cadogan Enright’ on Facebook where I post or log my activities as a councillor on a weekly basis.

Cllr Cadogan Enright

14th Jan 2014 Martin McGuinness supports Downe Community Hospital Campaign

Cllr Cadogan Enright with Downe Hospital Campaigners and Deputy First Minister at Stormont last night

Cllr Cadogan Enright with Downe Hospital Campaigners and Deputy First Minister at Stormont last night

Huge turnout to support the Accident and Emergency debate in Stormont last night (14th January) from Down District – here is a photo of some of us on the stairs at the Assembly with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness showing up to support us (I’m top right)