Gregory Campbell was speaking after the Northern Trust announced that all births in their catchment will be consolidated at Antrim hospital rather than the Causeway hospital.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Campbell said,
“Our Health Service is stretched and reform alongside investment is essential. I want to see better outcomes for patients. We cannot keep doing the same and expect different outcomes, however organisational changes should be part of a structured reform where the public can see the logic and long-term benefit.
I am disturbed by the Trust’s explanation for the removal of this service from the Causeway hospital as it appears these changes have been precipitated by circumstance rather than design or wider plan.
The Department of Health Permanent Secretary states:
“The unsustainability of Causeway maternity unit relates to falling birth numbers at the hospital and associated difficulties of recruiting and retaining consultants and other staff.”
The inability to staff hospital wards and in this case a maternity unit, points to a planning and management failure more than lack of need in the community.
There are directors and managers within the Health Service holding enormous roles with incredible authority yet for years there has been a failure to recruit and retain adequate staff to meet the demand of healthcare in Northern Ireland.
These problems have not development in the last few months. The Trust and the Department need to spell out the long term sustainability of the Causeway Hospital and what services will be built up at the location rather than just stripping out maternity provision.”