Said the Foyle MLA: “Since it was set up in 2020, as a response to the Covid Pandemic, this hub has been a real and rare success story in healthcare here.
“It has been a Godsend to many people, particularly extremely vulnerable and immune-suppressed patients, making the taking of bloods swifter and safer.
“It has taken pressure off GP surgeries and the hospital itself and every medical professional I have spoken to on its planned closure is in agreement that this is a retrograde step – delays in phlebotomy will ultimately lead to delays in treatment and many of these patients, sadly, cannot afford any delay.
“The Trust is saying that their plan is to revert to the pathways that were in place pre-Covid but the whole landscape of healthcare has changed drastically since then.
“I sympathise with the Trust in regard to the fact that this service was being paid for by Covid funding from the Department of Health and that, with the removal of that funding, the money simply isn’t there to provide it any more.
“I have written to the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Health to emphasise the importance of continuing to fund services like this: ones that lead to better outcomes for patients and prove better value for money.
“This hub should be looked at as an exemplar and the model should be rolled out elsewhere, rather than rowed back on.”Tags: