Ulster Unionist MLA for North Down, Leslie Cree, has welcomed the news that Bangor Minor Injuries Unit is to remain open.
Leslie Cree said:
“This will come as great relief to the people of Bangor and the wider North Down area. Ever since the ludicrous proposal to close the unit was first announced on the 30 October, there was groundswell of anger against the actions of the Trust and the Department.
“The decision of the Minister to intervene and change a decision which he had previously agreed to is an acknowledgment of the effectiveness and success of the local campaign run to protect the service. This is truly a victory for the community.
“Whilst I welcome the decision to protect the MIU, I am disappointed that no such commitment has been given in regards to the closure of 20 beds in Bangor Community Hospital. Given these intermediate beds are much cheaper than those in acute hospitals, closing them under the guise of saving money makes no financial sense whatsoever. I will continue my campaign to ensure that the Minister is aware of this and that if he truly wants to have an effective health service he will make decisions not on how to raise the most money the quickest, but rather what makes sense in the strategic long-term.”
Ulster Unionist member on the Health Committee Michael McGimpsey added:
“Closing Minor Injuries Units runs completely contrary to the supposed policies promoted in Transforming Your Care. Instead of supporting care in local communities, closing units such as Bangor was only ever going to drive more people towards our major hospitals.
“Hospitals such as the Ulster are already at breaking point, with its A&E for instance only treating 74% of people in the first four hours as opposed to the 95% which it is meant to meet, therefore reducing services in neighbouring Bangor was always just going to make that situation worse.
“I now call on the Minister to show some further common-sense and reverse the irrational proposals to close the Minor Injury Units in both Whiteabbey and Armagh.”