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Town set to host public consultation on health cuts


THE people of Strabane are to have their say in the forthcoming round of consultations regarding the cuts within the Western Trust.

The consultation began in Limavady on September 18, Strabane had initially been omitted from the list of towns hosting such events.

However following applications by West Tyrone MP, Barry McElduff, the Western Trust has agreed to organise a separate gathering in Strabane.

Mr McElduff, who had persistently lobbied Trust officials, says he is pleased with the result.

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“After it was announced that Strabane would now be included in the consultations, I met with senior Trust managers in Enniskillen and I welcomed the decision,” Mr McElduff said.

Conceded

“Whenever the list of locations for the consultations came out, Strabane was the glaring omission. I felt strongly that Strabane should not be treated as an add-on to other places like Omagh or Derry. So I’m pleased that they have conceded to that request.”

The North’s five trusts have been asked to deliver a total of £70million savings by the Department of Health. Within the Western Trust, these savings amount to £12.5million. Current proposals include reducing the number of locum doctors and agency nurses, paring back the number of domiciliary care and nursing home packages and temporarily reducing daycase elective surgery.

Due to take place at the Fir Trees Hotel on Wednesday September 27 between 2-4pm, the Strabane event is open to the public and Mr

McElduff is encouraging as many people as possible to come along and air their views.
Opportunity

“From now on I’d like to see Strabane included in these events as part of custom and practise at the Trust,” he said. “While it’s a welcome decision, I’m encouraging people to come along and make their views heard, whether that’s on out-of-hours issues or domiciliary care.

“People in Strabane should take this opportunity to address senior Western Trust managers.”

If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to comment on the consultation, you can do so before October 5 . Information on how to respond to the consultation can be found in the ‘Consultations’ area on the Trust’s website www.westerntrust.hscni.net

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