THERE will be a Save Our Acute Services (SOAS) meeting at Mahon’s Hotel in Irvinestown tonight (Wednesday), and another in the Roslea Community Centre, both at 8pm.
The meetings are part of the SOAS mass letter campaign, ahead of the closing of the Western Trust’s public consultation on the future of emergency general surgery on April 10th.
Tens of thousands of locals have already signed the letters backing the campaign group’s five point plan for a new vision for the South West Acute Hospital.
Following a meeting in Lisnaskea last night, where the community was presented with up-to-date information on the current suspension of emergency surgery at the Enniskillen hospital.
A spokeswoman for SOAS said the group had been overwhelmed with the response to the letter campaign, and also urged people to attend this week’s meetings, which they said would provide much more up-to-date information on the SWAH situation than those it held earlier in the campaign.
“If anyone was at our presentations in October or November, these will be nothing like that,” they said, explaining the group’s latest presentation more current and accurate.
With regard the letters, the spokeswoman said SOAS planned to count and process them, then present them at the SWAH next week. Further updates on this will be provided on the group’s Facebook page.
SOAS volunteers will be collecting the letters from the shops they had left them in, while those who had printed their own can drop them to Fermanagh House or to a member of the group. The deadline for this is next Monday evening (April 3rd).
The SOAS spokeswoman said the level of support from the public for the campaign showed it had reached the next level.
“We’re now much more than a campaign, we’re a community,” they said. “We are representing our local population, including staff and patients relying on the hospital for their survival.”
They said on top of the mass letter, SOAS was “also writing a full and appropriate response to the consultation, which we will make available online on our page.”
The spokeswoman added the group was already looking to – and working on – its next steps following the ending of the consultation period.
“We’re not delivering an end stage of anything,” they said.
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