Fermanagh South Tyrone Sinn Féin Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Flanagan Welcomes Investment in SWAH Maternity Services

Published: 17 April, 2015

Sinn Féin MLA Phil Flanagan has welcomed confirmation that the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB) and Public Health Agency (PHA) have approved the recommendation presented by the Western Health and Social Care Trust in an options paper to ensure sustainable medical staffing of the obstetric and paediatric units at South West Acute Hospital.

The HSCB and PHA have asked the Western Trust to put in place the consultant led model supported by middle grade medical cover in line with Trust proposals at an additional cost of £1.871 million.

Welcoming the news, which was contained in answer to a series of questions he tabled in the Assembly on the provision of maternity services in the hospital, Mr Flanagan said:

"I warmly welcome the news that further investment will be put into the hospital to develop sustainable medical staffing of the obstetric and paediatric units in SWAH.

"I was extremely concerned that one of the five options put forward was to close maternity, neonatal and paediatric services, so there will be considerable relief that this option was not explored in a meaningful way and that the current maternity services are to be expanded.

"This investment will mean that fewer women will be advised to travel to Derry to give birth to their children, particularly in the cases of multiple births, elevated BMI or women with Type 1 Diabetes, which is a positive development for the hospital and for people who live here.

"There are certainly enough people in Fermanagh, Tyrone, south Donegal, Leitrim, Cavan, Sligo and Monaghan to justify a fully functional maternity services unit in the Enniskillen hospital.

"I am glad that these changes are to be made, but it is only one of a number of areas in which greater investment is needed to enhance services provided at this world-class facility."