A new Health Working Group has been set up by Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council.
The group will replace a similar group that existed under the old Lisburn City Council to campaign for services at the Lagan Valley Hospital.
The establishment of the new working group was proposed by Councillor Alexander Redpath and this was seconded by Alliance Councillor Stephen Martin.
“I am pleased to welcome broad support for my proposal to establish the new council’s Health Working Group,” said Councillor Redpath.
“The old Lisburn Council Health Working Group led the fight to protect services at the Lagan Valley Hospital and I am glad to see that the new council has recognised this by forming a new group to take its place.
“We should be under no illusion that unless we fight for services at the Lagan Valley these services will continue to be reduced until we are left with nothing more than a glorified health centre.
The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust recently announced an extension of the “temporary” reduction in hours of the Lagan Valley Accident and Emergency Unit.
“It was also announced that a promised Minor Injuries Unit would not be delivered in this financial year.
“Our first objective has to be reversing the reduction in A and E hours. If this proves impossible the Trust must honour its commitment to a minor injuries unit.
“Accident and Emergency Units across Northern Ireland are facing unprecedented pressure and a number of “major incidents” have been experienced.
“It would be naïve to think that the closure of services in surrounding hospitals like the Lagan Valley is not partially to blame for the increased pressure on hospitals like the Royal.”