Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart has met with the Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Dr Maria O’Kane, and senior management to discuss a range of pressing health issues and aspects of local service delivery. Jonathan Buckley MLA and Deborah Erskine MLA also joined the meeting.
Speaking after the discussions, Carla Lockhart said:
“My office deals with a wide range of health and social care issues on behalf of constituents. Many reach out in frustration at delays and what they perceive as a lack of progress being made towards their needs being met.
This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the areas of concern that are most prevalent. This included ongoing unacceptable waiting lists for surgery and a range of procedures, ambulance provision, care packages and issues around accident and emergency waiting times.
We also took the opportunity to explore issues such as investment in facilities, staff welfare and pay, and future reshaping of services. We are conscious that the last number of years has been exceptionally challenging in terms of service provision, not least its toll on staff. We continue to make the case for a fairer deal for our healthcare workers, not least in terms of pay levels which are lagging well behind inflation.
Constituents should be assured we will continue to be their voice with the Health and Social Care Trust to deliver accountability for services provided, but to also make the case for much needed improvement.
I thank the Chief Executive for her willingness to engage and know that conversations will continue in the future.”