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Notice of motion to save breast cancer clinic at Craigavon Hospital wins unanimous council support

Council to write to Permanent Secretary of Health, Health Board and Secretary of State voicing opposition

Craigavon Area Hospital

Unanimous support has been given to a council notice of motion demanding that the powers-that-be bin plans to axe breast cancer assessment services at Craigavon Area Hospital.

In the last meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council before the local governments elections in May, councillors were united in their aim.

They backed a notice of motion which would see them write to the decision-makers and pledge support for keeping services at Craigavon.

Under the proposals, revealed three weeks ago, the breast cancer assessment centre at Craigavon Area Hospital could close.

The public consultation is underway on a move which would see the number of such centres in Northern Ireland cut from five to three.

The centres at Altnagelvin, on the Glenshane Road in Derry/Londonderry, as well as at Antrim Area Hospital and the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, would stay open.

The proposals fall under ‘Reshaping Breast Cancer Services’ currently out to public consultation.

Petitions and public meetings to express opposition have been widespread.

And last night (Monday), the council added its voice to that growing discontent.

The notice of motion was brought by the UUP, proposed by Lord Mayor Julie Flaherty and seconded by Alderman Arnold Hatch.

It noted “grave concern” at proposals which could lead to the closure of Craigavon Area Hospital breast clinic services.

And the motion added: “The closure of this highly efficient unit would have a devastating effect on many of our constituents who rely on this life saving service locally and those who travel from throughout the Southern Trust area.

“That this council writes urgently to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health, the Health Board and the Secretary of State in reply to this latest consultation paper in order to support this service being retained at Craigavon Area Hospital.

“That this council, within their correspondence, objects in the strongest of terms to the suggestion that this vital service is lost to our local acute hospital.”

All councillors were supportive of the motion and letters will now be forwarded as the campaign for Craigavon continues.

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