Category Archives: Health Committee

Mr Beggs is a Committee member of the Health Committee (DHSSPS).

Beggs warns local NHS staff could miss out on pay deal

Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA, has warned that NHS staff in Northern Ireland are likely to miss out on the 6.5% pay increase announced in England as a result of the continuing political stalemate at Stormont. Roy Beggs said: “The UUP has long argued that because health workers here are signed up to the NHS’s wider UK terms and conditions, they should be treated no worse or paid any less than their counterparts in England, Scotland and Wales. Yet that is exactly what has been happening for some time and now, with this latest increase of over 6%, the gap is going to widen even further. “I’m glad that the UK Government has at last decided to move away from the arbitrary and discriminatory 1% pay cap for health workers, something which they would have been forced to drop last year had it not been for the … Continue reading

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Local Health Trust received half of expected capital investment over last 5 years

East Antrim Ulster Unionist Party MLA, Roy Beggs expressed concern that the Northern Health and Social Care Trust (NHSCT) has only received 10% of capital spending by Health Trust over the last 5 years, despite having 25% of the population of Northern Ireland. Roy Beggs MLA said “I have been concerned at the under investment in local Health Facilities for some time and contacted the Health Department’s Permanent Secretary seeking details of capital spending provided to each Trust area in Northern Ireland. Carrickfergus, Larne and Newtownabbey do not have A&E units or a Minor Injuries Unit. Nor do we have modern Health and Well-being facilities. There is a need for investment to modernise many of our GP surgeries and Allied Health facilities so that more primary health care services can be provided locally, but we have received less than half the investment we could reasonably expect to receive.” Modern Health … Continue reading

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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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