Alliance Councillor Sorcha Eastwood has called for a meeting of the Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council health working group to discuss the growing crisis in the health service in the area.
Speculation has mounted Lagan Valley Hospital would be introducing a ‘phone first’ service, meaning anyone wishing to attend its emergency department would be encouraged to call ahead if their condition is not life-threatening.
Councillor Eastwood said we all had a role to play in helping ease the pressures and resolving the situation.
“Our health service is under severe pressure and has been for some time. As elected representatives, we are dealing on a daily basis with those who can't access GP services, or who are waiting on surgery or consultant-led appointments,” she said.
“Whilst it is the responsibility of the Department of Health to deliver on health outcomes, we all have a role to play in not only highlighting where problems exist, but also being constructive and engaging in conversations to move the situation forward and push for better situations for our constituents.
“That’s why I have called for a meeting of the Council’s health working group to see what can be done through collaborative working between local government, health trusts, and community and voluntary partners, as well as statutory agencies and the health and social board to discuss the real and urgent issue of disparity in accessing GPs, and also now the potential for changes to Lagan Valley’s emergency department.
"We all made a commitment to transforming the health service and while that is needed, we need to ensure changes are made in a constructive and informed way. I will continue to push for better delivery and access to healthcare services for all in Lagan Valley.”