Belfast Telegraph

65 hospital beds axed in Northern Ireland budget cuts

By Staff Reporter

Around 65 hospital beds across the Northern Health Trust area are to be lost in a series of new cuts.

It comes as all five health trusts in Northern Ireland prepare to make savings.

Belfast Health Trust has to make savings of £26.3m; Northern Health Trust £13m; Western Health Trust £12.5m; South Eastern Health Trust £10.85m, and the Southern Trust £6.4m.

In the Northern Trust area, Whiteabbey Hospital will bear the brunt of the bed losses, with 44 set to go.

The cuts, which have been described as "temporary", could come as early as November.

More than 200 people turned out at a public meeting in Newtownabbey yesterday to have their say about the proposed cutbacks.

Ruth Irvine, whose husband has cancer and Parkinson's, told the BBC that they rely on the services and care at Whiteabbey Hospital and expressed her concern at the situation.

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