The second Western Trust public consultation event on the future of emergency surgery at the SWAH will take place this evening, this time in Lisnaskea.
There were tense and heated scenes at the Lakeland Forum in Enniskillen last night as the Trust kicked off the first in a series of seven public events as part of the legally-required 16 week consultation process. The consultation must be held on the future of the service, which was suspended at the Enniskillen hospital in December due to dwindling staff numbers. While the Trust have repeatedly stressed the move is temporary, it has also repeatedly stated it will be extremely difficult to restore it.
At last night’s event at the Forum, chief executive Neil Guckian said the consultation would welcome any alternative ideas from the public on how the service could be restored.
Mr Guckian and other Trust directors came under fire from the Enniskillen crowd last night, with many local people passionately addressing the health chiefs, outlining their concerns over the loss of the service. These included Fr Brian D’Arcy, high sheriff Noelle McAlinden, and former consultant general surgeon Mr McKibbon.
A meeting was held before the event by community campaign group Save Our Acute Services (SOAS), in which it presented its research highlighting the impact removing the emergency surgery service could have on the people of Fermanagh.
SOAS will be holding another meeting before tonight’s event at the Castle Park Centre in Lisnaskea, and before the upcoming events in Irvinestown and Belcoo.
The Trust event begins at 6.30pm at the Castle Park Centre this evening.
The next will be at the Ecclesville Centre in Fintona tomorrow, 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.
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