Ulster Unionist MLA Roy Beggs has accused the Northern Health Trust of capitalising on the difficulties at Stormont by announcing a consultation to close Whiteabbey Minor Injuries Unit less than 24 hours after the Health Minister announced his intention to resign.
The East Antrim MLA said:
“I and the staff in Whiteabbey Hospital have feared from the initial temporary closure last year that permanent closure of the Minor Injuries Unit was always going to be the likely outcome. From the time when the first announcement was made the unit has effectively been stripped out making closure inevitable, despite weak denials from the Trust and the Minister.
“The Trust and the former Minister had been waiting to make this statement for several months so I am in no doubt that the timing of this consultation on permanent closure is deliberate. Simon Hamilton had barely announced his resignation before this announcement was made.
“It is clear the Northern Health Trust have already taken their decision, so asking people to waste their time on a consultation is totally disingenuous. The Trust and the Minister have acted shamefully over the last 12 months and now this latest development only adds further insult.”