Have your say on Trust’s £13m savings proposals

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The Northern Health and Social Care Trust has announced a series of public engagement meetings over proposals to meet its share (£13 million) of the overall Health and Social Care system’s 2017/18 savings target of £70 million.

The meetings will take place in the last two weeks of September prior to the closure of the consultation process on October 5, 2017.

The Mid and East Antrim area meeting will take place on Tuesday, September 19 from 7pm to 9pm in The Braid, Bridge Street, Ballymena.

A Trust spokesperson said: “Our aim has been to make access to the process, and the relevant documentation, as easy as possible through a range of different methods, one of which is the planned public meetings.

“For this reason we have planned morning, afternoon and evening meetings. We would encourage those who plan to attend to register with the Trust’s Equality Unit on 028 2766 1377 or equality.unit@northerntrust.hscni.net

“We would also encourage all those with an interest to engage fully in the consultation. The document which outlines the proposals and provides guidance on the process is available on www.northerntrust.hscni.net”

Among the major proposals, all of which are temporary, will be reducing expenditure on high-cost medical locum and agency nursing staff, closing two wards in Whiteabbey Hospital and associated day ward, closing beds in Antrim Area Hospital and Causeway, reducing non-urgent elective day surgery, and reducing the number of community-based rehabilitation beds.

There are also proposals to contain growth in domiciliary care packages and community placements, cease domiciliary care meals provision, reduce the use of private ambulances, and increase parking charges for visitors.