Proposed health cuts ‘target most vulnerable’ - Logue

Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue.
Sinn Fein Councillor Patricia Logue.

Sinn Féin local Health Spokesperson Councillor Patricia Logue has reiterated her party’s opposition to proposed £70 million cuts to health and social care services.

Colr. Logue was commenting following the closure of a public consultation on the proposals.

The Western Trust has been tasked with delivering £12.5m cuts within the next six months, and has drawn up a series of controversial proposals.

The proposals include the closure of either William Street or Rectory Field Residential Home and housing residents onto a single site.

Other plans include cutting care packages for nursing and domicillary care patients, closing dozens of hospital beds and reducing non-urgent electoral surgery.

Colr. Logue said the proposed cuts were unacceptable and target the most vulnerable.

She added: “These proposed cuts fly in the face of the transformation of the health and social care services plans set out by Michelle O’Neill. They will only serve to hinder progress to achieving better health outcomes.

“There are also serious questions as to why this process was undertaken when it has since become clear that there are significant central funds available for health and other front line services.”

Colr. Logue also claimed: “The consultation process itself was also deeply flawed, given that it was not compatible with the Trusts’ own equality schemes and statutory obligations.”

Speaking after the Western Trust’s Board agreed to press ahead with the public consultation on its draft plans, despite major opposition, Western Trust Chief Executive, Dr Anne Kilgallen, said back in August: “The safety of the patients and clients under our care is our utmost priority and we have borne this in mind in developing our proposals.

“The Trust has sought to protect emergency and unscheduled care, red flag and cancer patients, looked after children (child protection), frail people and people with a disability.

“It is important to note that the Draft Savings Plan is a public consultation and that no decisions have been made regarding the implementation of the proposals contained within the plan.”