Belfast Telegraph

Meeting on A&E unit was useful, says Edwin Poots

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Health Minister Edwin Poots has described a meeting with South Belfast MLAs on proposals to close Belfast City Hospital accident and emergency unit as "useful".

However, his predecessor at the Department of Health, Michael McGimpsey, who was among the delegation of politicians, has said he remains "unconvinced" by the controversial plans.

Last month Mr Poots said a shortage of junior doctors had put a question mark over the viability of the City's casualty, which is currently used by around 42,000 people a year.

A decision is expected by October.

"I have had a very useful meeting with Assembly representatives from South Belfast," Mr Poots said after the meeting.

"I am acutely aware of the issues raised by any possible changes to the A&E structures in the City Hospital and that is why I invited my assembly colleagues to meet me."

Mr McGimpsey said no decision should be taken on accident and emergency services in the Belfast Trust area until the new critical care building at the Royal and Ulster Hospital A&E were complete.

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