Issues at South West Acute Hospital reinforce need for planned transformation, says Bradshaw

Alliance Party representatives including Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA, Party Leader Naomi Long MLA, and party representatives from the Fermanagh & Omagh Council area, have met with the leadership of the Western Health and Social Care Trust to discuss issues arising from difficulties in recruiting to the South West Acute Hospital (SWAH).

During the meeting, they agreed that the issues that have arisen demonstrate the need for planned transformation.

After the meeting, Health Spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA stated: “We sought a meeting with the Western Trust to try and get a much clearer understanding of why sudden decisions are being made with regards to SWAH. We wanted a better picture of the challenges being faced by managers in that area and to seek reassurance that patient safety is the number one priority.

What is disconcerting for people in the area, and right across Northern Ireland, is that decisions appear to be being made because they are forced on Trusts, rather than as part of a comprehensive transformation plan.

It was also useful to broaden to conversation to recognise other difficulties with accessing healthcare which are specific to the Fermanagh area, including the failure to complete upgrades of the A32 and A5 roads.

What is required is a functioning Executive back up and running, with a plan across all departments to inspire confidence in people in the west and in rural areas that decisions are being made in a planned way, in their interests, so that they have access to the best possible healthcare provision delivering the best possible outcomes. It is understandable why that confidence does not currently exist, but we will continue to work hard to address that.”