The permanent closure of Belfast City Hospital’s accident and emergency department has moved one step closer after a health board approved a consultation document on future A&E services in the city.
There was anger among many politicians and residents ahead of the unit’s closure in November last year due to a shortage of senior staff — although at the time the closure was described as temporary.
Earlier this week the Belfast Health Trust endorsed a paper outlining the future of A&E services at Belfast’s three main hospitals. It approved a recommendation that A&E units at the Royal Victoria and Mater hospitals should be retained.
And yesterday the Health and Social Care Board approved the draft consultation on the changes.
“This proposed arrangement will require the permanent closure of emergency department services at Belfast City Hospital — which have been closed on a temporary basis since the autumn of last year,” the board said.
The consultation will now be considered by Health Minister Edwin Poots.