The Department of Health has been advised by the Northern Health and Social Care Trust of its planned public consultation on the future of acute maternity services in its area.
The Trust has also kept the Department informed on the fragility of the current configuration of services.
The Department fully understands the sensitivities and anxieties of individuals and communities that potential changes to services can create, and therefore requires Trusts to carry out extensive consultation prior to any planned change. Recommendations and proposals from the consultation will come to the Department for assessment. Central criteria in this assessment will be how best to provide safe and sustainable care that meets the needs of the community.
Any permanent changes to services will require Ministerial/Departmental approval.
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