Councillor Enright said, “A meeting of party leaders was held today with Council management and Chief Executive John Dumigan to discuss how to beef-up the councils own submission in the light of recent developments. SF and the DUP were well represented, the UUP did not show up and the SDLP rather dissapointingly sent an ‘observer'” .
“My proposal that recent disclosures make the Trusts preferred option and the whole consultation process
quite untenable were accepted by the meeting, and council managent will be drafting a response which will ask the Trust to withdraw its proposals based on recent disclosures. The Trusts proposal on A&E was predicated on an inability to recruit staff, local support by GP’s and low attendance of patients at A&E at night time.” Said Cllr Enright.
Cadogan Enright pointed out, “We now have evidence that attempts to recruit staff have been at best feeble, that there is little of no support for the preferred option from local doctors, and that figures for attendence in the local A&E at night time have been distorted by ambulances being required to drive past the A&E , taking local people unnecessarily to distant hospitals. Thus the consultation is based on false premises and its preferred option fatally undermined and the whole thing simply needs to be withdrawn.”
“SF and the DUP have agreed to assist council managment with the proposals for acute mental health, and the SDLP are being appoached to see if they will share key information to make the councils ‘corporate response’ more effective. The SDLP’s previous unwillingess to let council management consult the Down Community Health Committee has been overturned and we finally have the whole district beginning to work together on this important project” Concluded Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright.