Causeway Hospital Health Trust Public Meetings Not Accessible to the Public - Brolly
Chairperson of the Causeway Hospital Campaign Gemma Brolly has been refused full access to the Northern Health and Social Care Trust Public Meetings. Speaking on the refusal Ms Brolly stated:
“Following a recent meeting of the Causeway Hospital Campaign it was decided that delegates of the campaign would take up our right to attend the next Trust Board Public meeting. As a result and as requested, I emailed the executive of the Northern Trust on 8th May, requesting that I may both attend and speak, with no subject or further detail included. On 17th May, I received a response indicating that “The Transformation of Acute Maternity Services is not on the Trust Board agenda for this month’s meeting as the recommendation is currently being considered by the Department of Health.” I was then further instructed that in keeping with “standing orders, the Trust will not be granting speaking rights for the meeting on 25th May 2023, nor accepting public questions.”
“Yet upon checking again for an agenda yesterday, I discovered contrary to my earlier response ‘Public Questions’ was in fact on the agenda available online, so again I emailed requesting a link to the meeting. Twice now I had requested this. I am also aware another member of the public received a response this morning denying her access to the “public” meeting yet again, albeit she did receive a response in time at least.”
The Northern Trust website states “Meetings of the Board are open to the public and are held at various locations across the Trust. Times and dates are published on this website in advance of the meetings. Recent actions are surely in breach of ‘public’ meetings. What seems like a determined effort to block members of the public from attending public meetings is extremely concerning.”
This is the most important health facility we have in our region. Our campaign has gathered momentum with nearly 5,000 signatories signing a petition to protect Maternity services. Hundreds more have attended our protests in support of services. Public meetings that do not facilitate members of the public to ask questions is a nonsense and we will not accept it. Our campaign will grow and we will do all we can to protect these key services”.