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We must fight to stop the closure of the City's A&E

Three weeks ago, I had reason to take my elderly mother to the A&E department at Belfast City Hospital (BCH), culminating in her admission to hospital that evening. There she received care and treatment that was second to none, for which I am very grateful.

Therefore, I was dismayed to learn that the hospital's A&E department is to close in November, leaving people such as myself to rely on the RVH or the Mater Hospital for A-amp;E services. The Belfast Telegraph has already revealed that the Mater A&E had to close its doors to patients 268 times during a 13-month period, while the RVH had to do the same 159 times.

The closure of BCH's A&E department will further exacerbate the pressure on those hospitals.

We cannot - we must not - ignore what is happening to BCH's A&E services.

We must not be fooled into thinking that nothing can be done about it and that it is a fait accompli.

It is not. Remind our MLAs that we voted them into office to represent us and our best interests. It is in no one's best interests to close down an A-amp;E Department in a heavily populated area such as south Belfast.

Three weeks ago my mother was lucky to be able to receive attention so quickly.

Without the prompt and expert attention of BCH's A&E staff she may have suffered a stroke, or even died.

Angela Watson


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