Category Archives: Assembly

Beggs welcomes additional health funding

Ulster Unionist health spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has welcomed the announcement of an additional £3m to help tackle winter pressures. Roy Beggs said: “Increased winter pressures on our emergency departments are not unusual – it’s traditionally the busiest time of year for our hospitals. In addition to seasonal health pressures, we also have a rising prevalence of long-term conditions and an ageing population requiring increased medical intervention and access to hospital beds. “Whilst the recruitment of extra staff for domiciliary care and increasing the number of packages available are very positive steps which should both help enable patients to leave hospital faster, the reality is they would have had a far greater impact if they had instead been planned months ago and before the busy period started “Thankfully, the Health Department is right to say that the latest data shows that hospital emergency departments in recent weeks are performing better … Continue reading

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Beggs hits out as key cancer targets missed in Northern Trust

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has warned that the unprecedented crisis in local hospital waiting times is compromising the safety of patients right across Northern Ireland. He was commenting after Department of Health statistics revealed that at the end of September 2018, a total of 283,497 local patients were waiting for a first consultant-led outpatient appointment, and that over 92,000 of those had been waiting for longer than 52 weeks. Roy Beggs said: “Formal targets for treatment across all patient types and specialties exist because it is medically accepted that the longer patients are forced to wait for treatment, the greater the harm they may ultimately come to. “The number of people who are waiting far longer than even the maximum permitted time is at an unprecedented and terrifyingly high level. “Never before in the history of Northern Ireland have so many people been waiting, and for such … Continue reading

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Medical staffing shortage reveals vulnerability in local system – Beggs

Medical staffing shortage reveals vulnerability in local system – Beggs Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has said it is ridiculous that the Department of Health believes it must choose between training the right number of doctors or cutting local services. Roy Beggs said: “Northern Ireland has an acute and growing problem of a shortage of key medical personnel. As demand grows, the shortage of doctors will only continue to get worse, making an already difficult problem even more pronounced with every passing year. “It’s been known for some time that we’re in the midst of a workforce crisis in the local health service. There are over 7,000 vacancies across the system and a worrying number of them are for key consultant, GP and nursing posts. “The current problems are a direct result of the failure to workforce plan, combined with the opportunistic actions of private healthcare recruitment agencies. … Continue reading

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Beggs reveals crisis in breast cancer services in the Northern Health Trust

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has revealed a crisis in breast cancer services in the Northern Health and Social Care Trust. In September only 11.9% of urgent breast cancer referrals were seen within 14 days – compared to the target of 100%. Roy Beggs said: “I’ve been aware of a deteriorating situation regarding breast cancer referrals in the Northern Trust area for some months now but I chose not to highlight it in order to avoid unduly raising patient concerns. “But the current situation now has become so serious, and the figures so bleak, that unless immediate action is taken I really am fearful that patients will come to harm. “Compared to April this year when 100% of urgent referrals in the Trust were seen within 14 days, the situation in the 5 months since has collapsed. Initially it fell to 84% in May, slumping to just 59% … Continue reading

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Beggs condemns organised violence in Antiville area of Larne

Commenting on the criminal activity in the Antiville area of Larne, Roy Beggs MLA said: “Burning wheelie bins, attacking police and forcing road closures is endangering the public and preventing citizens from moving to and from their homes. Local residents are being terrorised and limited public resources are being wasted. Organised criminal activity is adversely affecting the local community.   “The question that has to be asked of the organised gang leaders responsible is, what do they believe that they will achieve from burning large numbers of wheelie bins and trying to create some form of no-go area?  They are adversely affecting the local community and wasting ratepayers money.  This lawlessness is making it even more apparent that the community must work with the PSNI directly, and by using the confidential crime stoppers number 0800 555 111, to undermine those involved in criminal activity so that we all have freedom to live … Continue reading

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