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Mater ambulances back to normal

By Victoria O'Hara

Published 26/11/2015

Mater Hospital
Mater Hospital

Ambulance services to Belfast's Mater Hospital have returned to normal after safety concerns led to them being diverted to the Royal.

The measure was put in place two weeks ago after senior consultants threatened to quit over pressures on the A&E department.

After a meeting with staff, the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust insisted the issues were temporary and the Mater was safe.

A spokeswoman said: "The temporary divert from the Mater Hospital has been lifted and will be back to a full service."

However, children under 14 are still being referred to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Sinn Fein MLA Gerry Kelly said the disruption caused much concern for local people and staff. "It is my understanding that discussions have been ongoing between the trust, Unison, staff, Ambulance Service and medical teams, and that protocols have been put in place to avoid a repeat," he added.

Last week, Health Minister Simon Hamilton told MLAs staffing difficulties at the hospital meant it was unlikely the situation would improve any time soon.

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