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Trust appeals for final opinions on Armagh’s minor injuries unit

Tower Hill, Armagh

Health officials in Armagh have issued a final call for responses to plans to close the minor injuries unit in Armagh.

It will be axed completely amid cost-saving plans and proposals have been published for its permanent closure.

The Southern Health Trust launched a public consultation to decide the future of the Armagh MIU at the end of May and this consultation period is nearing its end.

It will on Friday, September 11.

The unit was temporarily closed in November 2014 following the Southern Trust announcement of plans to save £2.9m by the end of March 2015.

The ‘temporary’ closure will remain in place until a final decision on the future of the service is made following the consultation.

All other services based on the Tower Hill site including outpatient clinics, radiology and GP out of hours remain open and continue to operate as normal. Click here to view information leaflet.

Interim Chief Executive, Paula Clarke said: “The Trust wants to achieve the best possible outcomes for people requiring urgent care services across the Southern Trust by providing access to appropriate acute services delivered by highly skilled and trained staff.

“To do this we must make best use of our skilled staff, ensuring they are able to assess and treat as many people as possible. We have closely monitored the impact of the temporary closure of the MIU in Armagh and it is clear that most people with a minor injury who need a service are going to the MIU at South Tyrone Hospital and are being dealt with in a timely way at that unit.

“The experienced Emergency Nurse Practitioner staff who worked in the Armagh unit have been relocated to the Emergency Departments at Daisy Hill and Craigavon Hospitals, helping to manage increased demand at our main emergency sites.”

The Health and Social Care Board had approved Trust plans to step down a number of services in late 2014 so funds could be released to support priority front line services. All Trusts implemented a range of proposals to address the difficult financial position, minimising as far as possible, any negative impact on patient and client care, and at all times putting the safety of patients and clients as our first priority.

Patients who would normally access Armagh MIU are advised to wait to see their own GP, access advice from their community pharmacist, 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.

Consultation documents can be found on the Trust website at www.southerntrust.hscni.net/consultations or by phoning 028 3836 6819 / 028 3836 6879 or by emailing miu.consultation@southerntrust.hscni.net

Enquiries can also be made to the Director of Acute Services, Southern Health & Social Care Trust, c/o Planning Department, Brackens, Craigavon Area Hospital, 68 Lurgan Road, BT63 5QQ.

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