Ambulance support closure adds to pressure, warns Beggs

The closure of the Red Cross ambulance support service will further increase pressure on the Ambulance Service, according to East Antrim MLA Roy Beggs.

The charity said its contracted patient transport service is no longer financially viable and will come to an end in April. More than 20 members of staff will be affected by the move. The decision has led to “anger and upset” among staff, ambulance union GMB has stated.

Mr Beggs, UUP health spokesman, said: “The decision has also now heaped further pressure on a local ambulance service which is already close to breaking point. It is no exaggeration to say that many patients would have suffered and would not have received appropriate health care without the backup support from charities such as the Red Cross.

“The loss of these additional supporting ambulances and paramedics means that a sparse service will have to be spread even more thinly. It will likely contribute to patients having to wait in hospital longer for transfers, as well as NIAS staff finding it more difficult to respond to all emergency calls. The importance of ambulances and paramedics arriving on time simply cannot be emphasised enough. The longer someone has to wait for assistance in an emergency the greater the risk there is of them coming to serious and lasting harm.

“I hope to soon meet with the Red Cross, their local staff and trade union representatives on this matter. In the meantime I would urge the Department of Health and local Health and Social Care Trusts to consider whether there is anything that they can do, even on a temporary basis, to ensure that this important service is not lost.”


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.larnetimes.co.uk/news/ambulance-support-closure-adds-to-pressure-warns-beggs-1-8325700

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Thieves who stole heating oil from children’s unit are despicable: MLA



Whitehaven provides respite stays for children with disabilitiesWhitehaven provides respite stays for children with disabilities

Whitehaven provides respite stays for children with disabilities

By Jonathan Bell

January 11 2018

Thieves who took heating oil from a special care unit that provides respite care for disabled children and their parents have been branded despicable.

Around 1,500 litres of heating oil worth about £1,000 was taken from the Whitehaven Respite Unit in Whitehead over the new year. It was only discovered when the facility reopened on Monday.

“They must have known what the home was, they must have known what they were taking, they can’t have known the very real distress and disruption caused to disabled children,” Roy Beggs MLA said.

Staff said five children were set to stay the night and when they were told they couldn’t some became very distressed.

Mr Beggs added: “Theft is wrong, but it is all the more despicable when it’s from a home which provides such a vital service for disabled children.”

Police are investigating and urged the public to ensure home heating oil tanks were secure.

Belfast Telegraph


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/thieves-who-stole-heating-oil-from-childrens-unit-are-despicable-mla-36477225.html

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Northern Ireland respite facility for disabled children closed temporarily after thieves take heating oil



Police have appealed for information after thieves stole heating oil from a respite home for children with disabilities in County Antrim.Police have appealed for information after thieves stole heating oil from a respite home for children with disabilities in County Antrim.

Police have appealed for information after thieves stole heating oil from a respite home for children with disabilities in County Antrim.

By Jonathan Bell

January 10 2018

Thieves who took heating oil from a special care unit which provides respite to disabled children and their parents were branded despicable.

“They must have known what the home was, they must have known what they were taking, they can’t have known the very real distress and disruption caused to disabled children,” MLA Roy Beggs told the Belfast Telegraph.

Around 1,500litres valued around £1,000 of home heating oil was taken from the Whitehaven Respite Unit in Whitehead over the new year period. It was only discovered when the facility re-opened on Monday.

Staff said five children were set to stay the night in the facility and were very excited and when they were told they couldn’t some became very distressed.

MLA Roy Beggs said: “It’s a home many of the children look forward to visiting. They get a bit of a break from home, they get to meet others and have a social life with friends. It would be very important to them.

“Also the parents get a chance to recharge their batteries and this would have thrown everything up in the air.

“Theft is wrong no matter who or what it is, but it is all the more despicable when it’s from a home which provides such a vital service for disabled children.”

Mr Beggs added: “There is no way those responsible couldn’t have known what they were taking and from who. I know it disrupted the service until the supply could be replenished. They probably thought it was easy pickings.

“But it couldn’t have operated without heat and I am sure it would have been very difficult to explain to the children what happened and why they were having to move.

“The children have significant needs and it was probably inappropiate to continue without heat.

Police are investigating and urged the public to ensure home heating oil tanks are secure.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/northern-ireland/northern-ireland-respite-facility-for-disabled-children-closed-temporarily-after-thieves-take-heating-oil-36477122.html

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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 came as a great shock to the dozens of trained part-time and full-time paramedics it employs who are now facing a very uncertain future.

“The decision has also now heaped further pressure on a local ambulance service which is already close to breaking point. It is no exaggeration to say that many patients would have suffered and would not have received appropriate healthcare without the backup support from charities such as the Red Cross.

“The loss of these additional supporting ambulances and paramedics means that a sparse service will have to be spread even more thinly. It will likely contribute to patients having to wait in hospital longer for transfers, as well as NIAS staff finding it more difficult to respond to all emergency calls. The importance of ambulances and paramedics arriving on time simply cannot be emphasised enough. The longer someone has to wait for assistance in an emergency the greater the risk there is of them coming to serious and lasting harm.

“I hope to soon meet with the Red Cross, their local staff and trade union representatives on this matter. In the meantime I would urge the Department of Health and local Health and Social Care Trusts to consider whether there is anything that they can do, even on a temporary basis, to ensure that this important service is not lost.”

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Almost €80k overpaid to Northern Ireland farmer won’t be recouped – Department

According to the BBC, in one instance, the overpayment was more than £70,000. In half the cases, payments were as low as £50. Forty farmers are believed to have received as much as £10,000.

The Department of Agriculture in Northern Ireland said it “regrets” the mistake but new procedures mean it “won’t happen again”.


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Articles may come from parliamentary reports, various public news feeds and Google News Search. Content is republished here for context. Copyright is respected and remains with the original author at all times. Original Article:https://www.independent.ie/business/farming/agri-business/almost-80k-overpaid-to-northern-ireland-farmer-wont-be-recouped-department-36408734.html

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