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MS respite unit at Dalriada Hospital 'may never be reopened'

By Alan Erwin

Wards at Dalriada Hospital may never reopen if temporary closure plans are not halted, the High Court heard.

Lawyers seeking to stop the reduction in services at the facilities in Ballycastle, Co Antrim, claimed the plans were unlawful.

They set out their case as they sought a court order that new patients are to still be admitted pending the outcome of the legal challenge.

Under current plans the two units are to close until March next year due to cuts to the Northern Health and Social Care Trust's budget.

The MS ward is the only dedicated respite unit in Northern Ireland for those with the debilitating condition.

Judicial review proceedings against the temporary closure have been brought by Philomena McKay, a 54-year-old MS sufferer who has been using the Dalriada facility for years.

Mr Justice Treacy said he will give his decision tomorrow.

Belfast Telegraph

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