Category Archives: Articles

Further blow to ambulance services in Northern Ireland

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has warned that the decision by the Red Cross to withdraw their local ambulance service will only increase pressure on the NI Ambulance Service’s already dangerously stretched paramedics. Roy Beggs said: “The British Red Cross, along with other charities such as St John’s Ambulance, have for some time been playing an important role in assisting the safe and timely operation of local ambulance services. “This includes carrying out non-emergency ambulance transfers and stepping up to assist local hospitals at times of peak demand, including over the recent Christmas period. They have played an absolutely essential role over recent times in helping to alleviate some of the pressure on the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS). “The decision by the Red Cross to withdraw from the contracted Ambulance Support work they undertake by the 30 April 2018 is worrying on two fronts. “It no doubt … Continue reading

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Beggs warns that hospital pressures likely to continue

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has warned that the exceptional pressures facing local hospitals are likely to continue for some time. Roy Beggs said: “The tragic reality is that according to years of previous experience, winter for the local health service has hardly even begun. The next three months are always the most difficult and as a result virtually every local hospital is likely to continue to face exceptional demands. “Tragically this crisis was entirely predictable and preventable. The strain of this year’s winter flu was long known to be much more virulent and unfortunately the local health service was already in a frighteningly precarious position as a result of the growing pressures over the last 2 or 3 years. “Every year Northern Ireland faces these pressures with growing intensity and even though the coming of winter is entirely predictable, the demands on local hospitals are still regularly … Continue reading

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Beggs questions hospital preparations for winter pressures

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has queried whether hospitals across Northern Ireland were as prepared as many of those in the rest of the UK to handle the outbreak of this year’s winter flu. Roy Beggs said: “The winter pressures our Emergency Departments are currently facing were not entirely unexpected. We have an ageing population – the highest user of hospital beds – and rapidly increasing demand which is closely linked to the rising prevalence of long-term conditions right across the population. Acute care systems, whether outpatient or inpatient services, acute medical units, EDs, primary care or the ambulance service, are all under a frightening degree of strain right now. “After speaking to medical professionals I warned last October that there were firm indications that this year’s strain of winter flu was likely going to be much more virulent than in previous years. Unfortunately that has now come … Continue reading

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Beggs reiterates call for Killyglen Link Road to be gritted

Roy Beggs, East Antrim Assemblyman, who has previously lobbied for gritting on the Killyglen Link Road in Larne which serves Lindara, Blackthorn & the Walnut area as well as other housing developments off the Killyglen Road, has again called for Transport NI to ensure that this road is gritted. Ulster Unionist Party MLA Roy Beggs said “There is a considerably greater level of traffic on the road than the previously stipulated requirement for a gritting route. There are indications that traffic levels have considerably increased since the last survey nearly 2 years ago when approximately 3,000 vehicles a day were recorded and I would hope that Transport NI will reflect on the increased usage and consider adding the Killyglen Link Road to the gritting schedule. This week I have again contacted Transport NI to request that they review the gritting schedule, with a view to including the Killyglen Link Road. … Continue reading

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Ulster Unionist Party reiterates call for nurses to be granted immediate pay rise

The Ulster Unionist Party has reiterated its call for nurses in Northern Ireland to be awarded the 1% increase in pay after the recommendation of the Independent Pay Review Body. Leader Robin Swann MLA has today written to other Party Leaders asking that, in the ongoing absence of an Executive, the Northern Ireland Civil Service is instructed to immediately implement the pay rise. Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA said: “The Ulster Unionist Party fully supports nurses being awarded the recommended 1% pay rise. Such a rise wouldn’t be excessive, it wouldn’t be unique and it wouldn’t be undeliverable. In fact, it would be a very modest and below inflationary increase. “Given our medical staff in Northern Ireland are signed up to the NHS’s wider UK terms and conditions, they shouldn’t be treated any worse or be any less thought-off than their colleagues in England, Scotland and Wales. Yet … Continue reading

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