Category Archives: This Week at Stormont

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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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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Beggs commends the work of Trussell Trust foodbank volunteers

Roy Beggs MLA has commended the work of the Trussell Trust foodbank volunteers following a recent visit to one of their collection points in East Antrim. Roy Beggs said “Foodbanks have become an important safety net for individuals between jobs or awaiting benefits and demand has been increasing. I would thank Tesco Carrickfergus and the local foodbank volunteers for providing a food collection point at this important time where demand for assistance normally increases. I would urge shoppers to get into the Christmas spirit by donating something to others less fortunate than themselves.” The Trussell Trust advise that in particular if you can, please give tinned meat, tinned fish, tinned veg, tinned fruit, pasta sauces, instant coffee, milk (UHT or powdered), fruit juice (long life) tinned pudding, jam, instant mash potato and Christmas fare.

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Never before has our health service faced such an unprecedented waiting times crisis – Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health Spokesperson Roy Beggs MLA has warned that never before has Northern Ireland faced such an unprecedented waiting times crisis. He was commenting after it was confirmed that as of September 2017 there were over 272,000 patients across Northern Ireland waiting for a first appointment with a medical consultant, with 73,000 of those waiting over 12 months. Roy Beggs said: “Northern Ireland’s Health Service is in the midst of an unprecedented crisis Never before have so many people been waiting so long for either a diagnosis or treatment. “The brutal reality is that some of these people have been waiting for so long that they now have a reduced likelihood of a successful outcome. Health workers that I talk to have come to the tragic conclusion in recent months that people are coming to serious harm, and sometimes worse, as a result of these delays. “The system is … Continue reading

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Explanation required over extra money for Health – Roy Beggs

Ulster Unionist Health spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA has called on Health Department Permanent Secretary, Richard Pengelly, to provide an explanation as to why only £15 million of extra funds for the health service is being drawn down. Roy Beggs MLA said: “The decision to only draw down £20million (£15m for Health and £5m for Education) of an available £50million to help deal with immediate pressures in health and education is one that will require further explanation. “The de-facto Health Minister, Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly, needs to outline why, given the length of waiting lists and demand on the health service, only £15million will be accessed in this financial year and what the plans are for the remaining money. Is it a case that this is still an administration that can’t spend the money it’s given? “Our health service needs certainty and that will not come without a Minister at the … Continue reading

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