Assurances are sought on future of Moyle Hospital

The entrance to Moyle Hospital. LT37-841-CON
The entrance to Moyle Hospital. LT37-841-CON

Calls have been made for the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to provide assurances over the long-term future of Moyle Hospital.

Concerns were raised earlier this year following the announcement that an outpatient service was to be relocated from the Larne hospital to another facility.

At the time, the Trust said the move was due to a vacancy becoming available elsewhere.

A spokeswoman also downplayed the decision as operational changes, and said it should “in no way be seen as an attempt to reduce services on the Moyle site”.

Despite this assurance, local councillors expressed fears that the move could signal the beginning of the end for the outpatient department at the Moyle.

Larne Borough Council wrote to Trust to voice its concerns.

In response, the Trust’s interim chief executive, Larry O’Neill, wrote: “I can confirm that, whilst there have been recent changes, there has been no decision on behalf of the Trust to remove outpatient services from Moyle Hospital.

He added that there were occasions when the Trust were required to move clinics on a temporary or permanent basis from one site to another “for operational reasons”.

“I can assure you that individual consultant preference is not a factor in a decision to relocate a clinic.

“The Trust is committe to providing as broad a range of outpatient clinics (at Moyle Hospital), as long as it is possible to do so.”

Larne Mayor Cllr Martin Wilson, who is also chair of the health sub-committee, said Mr O’Neill’s letter “does not inspire confidence about the future of the site”.

“As far as I am aware, some services were removed from Moyle Hospital and I will be trying to find out from staff at the facility if that is the case.”

He added: “The council was not happy with this response and we will invite Mr O’Neill and Megan West, assistant director of acute services, to come to council to give clarification on the current situation and the long-term future of the site.