Trust must be open

Trust must be open

8 May 2024

SENIOR health chiefs have been urged to improve engagement and communication with local people.

The appeal was made by South Down MLA Colin McGrath during a recent meeting with senior officials from the South Eastern Health trust.

Mr McGrath met with the organisation’s chief executive, Roisin Coulter, and David Robinson, executive director of nursing, midwifery and AHPs and patient experience director.

Describing the meeting as “robust”, Mr McGrath said he highlighted the need for continued community engagement.

He said the discussion covered a full range of issues and revealed the health trust is currently engaged in what he described as some “trailblazing efforts” in relation to the support and care given to those with a learning disability, children in care, and those currently imprisoned. 

“This work is often very quiet and can go unseen, but it is important to highlight the efforts of staff and senior management to provide that care and support,” Mr McGrath continued.

“The work the health trust has also done to upgrade and replace the CT scanner at the Downe, and enhance the rollout of multi-disciplinary teams in general practice is also to be commended, particularly in light on the ongoing financial constraints which so many of our public services are operating under, and nowhere is this quite so evidenced as in health.”

But Mr McGrath said there was a “clear need” for continued local engagement and communication from the South Eastern Trust. 

“During our discussion, I made this point and requested this local communication would be intensified in the interests of openness and transparency.  In an age of information at your fingertips, this need has never been greater,” he said.

“We are looking at some very difficult times financially in relation to health and I look forward to future engagements with the health trust and how it can best meet the health and social care needs of all within our community.”