Motion: Removal of acute surgery from South West Acute Hospital

Council Meeting - 1st November 2022

Whereas this council recognises the vitally important role played by Southwest acute hospital in the provision of health services to the population of this local government area;

We note with alarm at the recent statement by the Western Health and Social Care Trust (WHSCT) that they are now actively considering the removal of acute surgery from SWAH;

We recognise that this will mean those requiring emergency surgery will have to be driven past the doors of the emergency department at SWAH and onto Altnagelvin and Craigavon for urgent treatment.

We further note, with concern, that this closure will undermine the sustainability of other acute services at SWAH, including maternity anaesthetics, stroke and cardiology. We express our complete opposition to any such degrading of our acute hospital.

We resolve to write to the Department of Health and to the WHSCT to express our outright opposition to any downgrading of the hospital; in particular to the ending of acute surgery.

We further note the absence of any consultation any equality impact assessment, any rural-proofing or indeed any consideration of the likely adverse impact on public health and human rights of our rural and geographically peripheral population;

Therefore that this council does resolve, with all due urgency, to investigate and actively pursue all available, legal avenues to defend locally-accessible emergency surgery and acute services at SWAH.

Proposed by: Councillor O’Cofaigh and seconded by Councillor Deehan