The Southern Trust has today reminded the public that the Minor Injuries Unit at Armagh Community Hospital will close temporarily from next Monday, November 17.
And it has stressed that all other services based on the Tower Hill site – including outpatient clinics and GP out of hours – are unaffected and will continue to operate as normal.
The temporary closure of the MIU comes following the Southern Trust announcement of plans to save £2.9m by March 2015 .
The Trust says it is working towards achieving a break-even financial position this year and has already put in place plans to save £6m by March 2015.
Trust Chief Executive said: “In his statement to the Assembly on 14 October, the Health Minister set out the need for additional savings from each Trust to achieve financial balance by March 2015.
“For the Southern Trust this means an additional £2.9 million is required and we have set out the service reductions and workforce controls we need to implement to achieve this. While delivering these savings continues to be extremely challenging, we continue to focus resources on maintaining front line services.”
The Regional Health and Social Care Board have approved Trust plans to step down a number of services so that funds can be released to support priority front line services.
All Trusts have had to prepare a range of contingency proposals to address the difficult financial position, minimising as far as possible, any potential negative impact on patient and client care, and at all times putting the safety of patients and clients as our first priority.
The MIU will be temporarily closed until the end of March 2015. Staff will be relocated to support other unscheduled care services.
Around four patients an hour currently attend the Armagh MIU, and the Trust is confident that these patients can be accommodated at other Trust facilities.
Patients who would normally access the Armagh MIU are advised to wait to see their own GP, go the MIU in Dungannon (open 9am – 9pm Monday to Friday and 10am – 6pm Saturday and Sunday) or in an emergency to visit the Emergency Departments in Craigavon or Daisy Hill Hospitals.
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