Author Archives: Andrew

Unprecedented RCN strike action must focus minds – Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has said the unprecedented decision of the RCN to strike demonstrates the scale of the pressure weighing down on the local health service. Roy Beggs said: “Nurses are the backbone of our local Health Service. The significance of their overwhelming decision to vote for strike action cannot be overstated. “Two months ago I revealed that there were a frightening 2,482 nursing posts vacant across Northern Ireland. As a direct result there is a crippling shortage of nurses on hospital wards, in our nursing homes and out in community roles. I’m not surprised at all that the nurses that are in place have taken this decision given the challenges that they’re working under. “Given medical staff in Northern Ireland are signed up to the NHS’s wider UK terms and conditions, the major disparity in pay is also totally unfair. “The decision to vote for … Continue reading

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Department of Health Brexit briefing provides a degree of reassurance – Beggs

Following a detailed Department of Health briefing on its Brexit contingency planning, Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has said he was glad to receive a degree of reassurance that there is significant planning taking place for when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Roy Beggs said: “Brexit will inevitably have major implications for health and social care across Northern Ireland. A no-deal exit in particular could have a drastic effect on patient care as the availability of staff, medicines and vaccines could all be impacted if not adequately planned for and managed. “During the briefing I was reassured to learn that a degree of stockpiling of key drugs and medical devices has already occurred, as well as planning for other time-sensitive medicines in order to minimise risks to patients. “Last week I revealed there were almost 7,500 vacancies across the local health and social care system. It … Continue reading

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Yes, I donate. Do you?

At the start of Organ Donation Week, UUP Health Spokesman Roy Beggs MLA has highlighted the importance of increasing the number of organ donations. He has also again called for an urgent return of a local devolved government so that Northern Ireland can follow the successful soft opt-out organ donation model that has now been approved in Wales, England and recently Scotland. Roy Beggs said: “In the absence of the soft opt out scheme that has been legislated for in the rest of the UK, I would urge everyone to join the local organ donation register by phoning 0300 123 23 23, joining on-line or by completing a form. It is important to join the scheme and speak to family members so that they know your intentions. It is a selfless act and no one knows if their own family member will need a donation from someone else in the … Continue reading

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Beggs meets PSNI over detention of Clyde Valley Flute Band

Following controversy over the detention of Clyde Valley flute band by the roadside, Roy Beggs, East Antrim MLA has met with senior PSNI officers at their Knock HQ to express the perception of a lack of balance shown in recent policing. Roy Beggs MLA said; “There was no determination or conditions set by the Parades Commission for the recent Apprentice Boys’ parade. So I fail to understand how the Larne based Clyde Valley bands 2019 uniform which included a Parachute Regiment insignia on their sleeve, could have breached the law. The UUP Leader, Robin Swann MLA was actually on the ground at the Maiden City bridge on Saturday and tried to resolve the parade standoff. It appears that there has been a complete overreaction by the local PSNI bronze commander who would have authorised the TSG’s to intervene and which contributed to raising tensions during the parade. Why were TSG … Continue reading

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New Secretary of State must intervene for the safety of local patients – Beggs

Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has urged the new Secretary of State to ditch the policy of his predecessor and directly intervene for the benefit of local patients. The East Antrim MLA has also warned that following the latest publication of emergency hospital waiting times it is now an almost certainty that the local health service is lurching towards a major winter crisis later this year. Roy Beggs said: “This is not a blip, or a short-term problem – our health service is in the midst of its worst ever waiting times crisis and it’s getting worse with every passing day. People are coming to harm because they can’t get the right type of treatment when they need it. “The fact that more than 2,800 patients in June had to wait longer than 12 hours is frightening not only in its scale, but also due to the … Continue reading

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