Line of Duty star Adrian Dunbar backed calls for emergency surgery services to be saved at the local hospital in his hometown of Enniskillen.
While the local health trust maintains that no decision has been made on the future of emergency surgical services at the South West Acute Hospital, it says consultant recruitment issues mean it must plan for the loss of the service.
Fears have been expressed that the loss of emergency surgery could lead to the further loss of services at the Co Fermanagh hospital.
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In a video posted on behalf of the Save Our Acute Services campaign, the Enniskillen native referred to plans being put in place by the Western Trust as a ‘retrograde step’.
“It’s been brought to my attention that the South West Acute Hospital is to be robbed of its emergency surgery services,” Dunbar says.
“The idea that someone has come up with is that those people requiring emergency surgery are put in an ambulance and sent to a hospital either in Derry or Craigavon, well over an hour away, never mind the traffic.
“This seems to me like a very retrograde step for health services in the Fermanagh and Tyrone area and the surrounding counties.
“I would implore everybody involved, including those in government and within the civil service as we have no Executive at the moment, to reconsider this potentially disastrous decision for many people in my hometown of Enniskillen.”
Meanwhile, the SOAS campaign group has called for an urgent meeting with the local health trust over the issue.
Speaking at a meeting of the group in Enniskillen on Monday 14 November, the campaign group’s chair Reggie Ferguson stated that there has been a Trust-wide problem with both recruitment and staff retention for some time.
He stated that until a review of surgical services is available for public consultation, the proposed plans at the hospital must be deferred.
“Failing that, we are calling for the direct management of SWAH under special measures by the Department of Health, and that a regional recruitment strategy is adopted immediately,” Ferguson said.
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