Trust jobs must be protected - MLA

A Derry MLA has demanded front line health service jobs are protected amid cost cutting by the Western Trust.

SDLP MLA Colum Eastwood was speaking after Health Minister Edwin Poots did not rule out job cuts in the Western Trust’s front line services as the health authority struggles to meet its savings targets.

“The Trust has an obligation to provide the highest standard of care to the people of this city and region and the Minister must ensure that it can delivery services effectively. Cuts in posts lead to cuts in services and at all costs services must be protected,” Mr Eastwood said.

The Foyle MLA has further called on Mr Poots to ensure that a sizeable portion of the £30m in additional funding granted to his Department this week be allocated to the Western Trust to help protect “already stretched front line services” in the area. Earlier this month Trust Chief Executive Elaine Way announced 2014-15 will be the “worst” year it has faced in terms of financial challenges.