MANY residents in South Derry find it difficult to attend hospital appointments because of “inadequate public transport”, according to The Workers’ Party.
Representatives from the party’s County Derry branch recently met with Mary Hinds, Senior Director of Turnaround at the Northern Health and Social Care Trust.
They raised concerns about the what they claim are “inadequate public transport arrangements between South Derry and the hospitals within the Trust.”
A WP spokesperson claimed that it was difficult for residents to make it to appointments, or indeed visit patients, using public transport.
“Not all residents have access to private transport and it is imperative that the Trust is made fully aware of the concerns of the largely rural population of South Derry in respect of
getting to and from the hospitals,” said the spokesperson.
Mrs Hinds advised that generally hospital appointments are generated by computer and take no account of proximity or accessibility of the patient.
However, every patient has a right to contact the hospital and request an appointment
is changed to a time more suitable for them, and this right should be exercised if the
appointment time scheduled is not convenient.
Mrs Hinds further advised that the Mid Ulster Hospital in Magherafelt is now being used more frequently to treat Outpatients, and this trend is set to continue.
The spokesperson added: “The matters raised were recorded by Mrs Hinds and would
be passed on to the Health Trust User Panel for further discussion, and the Workers’ Party
intends to liaise with the Trust in future regarding this issue.
“Finally, the Workers’ Party intends to meet with Translink in Magherafelt and the Department for Social Development to discuss the same issues and try and make attending hospital easier for all the residents of South Derry.”