Saturday, 15 November 2014

#SaveTheDal - Dalriada Hospital, Ballycastle, Cuts - Action and Reaction 2

[click images to enlarge]

One of a series of meetings to protest against the hospital's 'temporary' closure
The meeting in Moyle Council offices attracted about 700 people

"I want to provide [someone suffering from Multiple Sclerosis] with a reassurance that we will continue to provide him with a service at least as good as the service he's receiving now. I'm making no promises that it will open, that it has a long-term future, but we will consult, we will give the public an opportunity to have their say on the long term future." .. Dr Tony Stevens, Trust Chief Executive in a recent BBC interview

The public are more likely to pay heed to actions than to promises.

A visit to Monday's Health Budget debate on Monday, November 17, is being organised through the 'Save The Dal' Facebook page and those travelling hope to be able to hand over signed petitions to the Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Jim Wells.

The workings of the Northern Health and Social Care Trust are new to me. It's an arms-length body [ALB] and it's my understanding that its Board has 11 full time professionals and 8 part-time lay members. None of the lay members, as far as I can see, live in the North Antrim area so their personal experience of the hospital's facilities may be somewhat limited. This snippet from the Trust's management statement [pdf file] may be of interest:

I can find no detailed implementation plan for the proposed 'temporary' closure nor can I, for example, find Trust promotion of the respite facilities on offer at its regional MS centre, facilities that are so much appreciated by users.

And there's more:

Meetings of the Board take place once a month.  These meetings are held in public and are normally on the fourth Thursday of each month, at various locations throughout the Trust.

Trust Board agendas and papers are available prior to the meetings. Following their approval at the next meeting, the minutes of the previous meeting will be available."

There's not to be a Board meeting in November; the next one is on December 2 - after the axe is due to fall. Here's the proposed change to Standing Orders that I found in the preparation papers for the October 2014 meeting:

Why aren't the agendas and papers put on-line prior to the Board meetings?