Durkan calls for movement on Altnagelvin building project

The Fire Service attending Altnagelvin Hospital

The Fire Service attending Altnagelvin Hospital

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SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has called on Health Minister Edwin Poots to move quickly on a major building project to replace the tower block at Altnagelvin Hospital which was damaged in last weekend’s fire.

Speaking after a debate on an urgent oral question to the Minister regarding the fire, Mr Durkan said: ‘’I wish to place on record my praise for the emergency services and their staff.

“Pat Ramsey and I were on the scene on Friday night and it was humbling to witness first-hand the heroic efforts of the staff to ensure the safety of their patients.

“Given that the need for a new building to replace the tower block had already been identified and accepted, two fires in the past three weeks have highlighted the need to expedite this project.

“I called three weeks ago for a full and thorough inspection of the hospital estate to ensure that risk of a second fire was eradicated.

“I’m not sure if that was done but I suspect not. Public confidence in the safety of Altnagelvin is low and will only be fully restored when the new hospital is built.

“I will continue to push the minister to ensure its completion ahead of schedule, by 2016.’’

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