The first of the public consultation events on the future of emergency surgery at the South West Acute hospital takes place at the Lakeland Forum in Enniskillen this evening, and there are still places left for those yet to book their seat.
The event, which is the first of seven in-person meetings to be held as part of the public consultation, begins at 6.30pm. While it is free, you must book a place as space is limited, however there are still places left for tonight.
There will be another event taking place at the Castle Park Leisure Centre in Lisnaskea tomorrow evening, also at 6.30pm.
The next will be at the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona on Wednesday, February 1st, while on February 2nd there will be another at the Bawnacre Centre in Irvinestown.
Then, on February 7th, there will be one held at the Belcoo Community Centre.
The last two, on February 8th and 9th, will take place at the Owenkillew Centre in Gortin and the Omagh Leisure Centre, respectively. Again, all the above events begin at 6.30pm.
The public is reminded all events are ticket only. To register to attend any of the events visit www.westerntrust.hscni.net/SWAH-EGSConsultation, where you can also fill out the consultation online.
There are also two online events planned for March 8th and 13th.
Western Trust chief executive Neil Guckian has said they will welcome – and implement – any viable ideas for saving the service identified by the consultation.
“The main objective of this consultation is to see if an alternative viable means of delivering Emergency General Surgery at SWAH can be identified,” he said.
Spokesman for Save Our Acute Services, Cllr Donal O’Cofaigh, has said while the campaign groups believes the consultation to be “a sham”, “designed to justify a decision that has already been made”, he encouraged the public to still have their say.
“Despite that this decision can be reversed – but it will only be reversed if we, the people, demand the politicians direct that it be resolved,” he said.
“There are 400 consultants working for a private company which has an office in SWAH – a regional rota was used to sustain the service in 2020 at the height of the Covid pandemic.
“Regardless of the warped and sham nature of this consultation, it is vital that the people of Fermanagh mobilise. Vital that they attend events and vital that we send a resounding rejection of second class access to life-saving health services.
“SOAS will be working in coming days to come up with draft responses to the questions in this consultation. We would ask the public consider these when filling out these forms. The Trust and the Health Department, and the politicians, need to be left under no illusion as to our total opposition to this attack on our hospital services.”
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