Question Time: Health Social Services and Public Safety 08 December 2014

Will the proposed cuts to the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service increase the safety risks in this community and particulary in rural areas. This is what Colum Eastwood asked the Health Minister at the start of Oral Question Time.

The Ministed stated that "As part of the Department's planning process for 2015-16, the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service has been asked to develop a range of savings proposals that could deliver the best possible
outcomes under three scenarios — 5%, 10% and 15% reductions. The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service will be required to riskassess and prioritise savings proposals on the basis of those that minimise the impact on service delivery before submission to my Department.

Gordan Dunne asked the Minister for his assessment of the impact on the local community of the closure of the Bangor Hospital minor inquries unit and GP ward. Ths Minister explained that he has asked the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust to ensure that the minor injuries unit in Bangor hospital remains open. The Ministed also confirmed that he has asked the trust to keep the option of access to beds at the Bangor site under constant review.

During the 15 minute period of Topical Questions to the Health Minister he was asked questions on Organ Donation Day, Alcohol and the Minimum Unit Pricing, Alcohol and Christmas Consumption, and for his assessment of the role of the community and voluntary sector in filling the gaps left by very stretched health and social care public services.

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