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Robin Swann MLA - North Antrim Constituency

18th March 2015
Swann challenges Health Minister on Children’s Heart funding

Robin Swann MLA with party colleague Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Sarah Quinlan, CEO, Children’s Heartbeat Trust

Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann has challenged the Health Minister to come clean and explain where the £1 million promised by John Compton for investment in the future for Paediatric Congenital Cardiac Services has been spent.

North Antrim representative Mr Swann voiced his concern after the DUP Health Minister confirmed to him that the £1million has been utilised by the Health and Social Care Board to support the costs of paediatric cardiac surgery undertaken outside Northern Ireland.

Mr Swann said:

“This will come as a shock to many as it was thought this £1 million would be utilised to invest in the future development of a centre of excellence for children’s heart surgery in Belfast after the service was stopped. I am naturally dismayed to find out now that this money has already been allocated by the HSBC to cover the costs involved in sending our children to London and Birmingham.

“Many people went into the last consultation process with the belief that this money was there to be invested in the future of our heart surgery children, so the Health Minister needs to be open with parents, professionals and children as to where and how the £1.2 million promised by him and the Finance Minister will be spent, and if it will be invested in Belfast or spent in Dublin?”

I hope to provide representation and advice for all those living within North Antrim, from Ballymena to Ballymoney, Bushmills and the surrounding areas. As your local representative I feel it is important to provide you with access to information from your local government and provide you with updates on how I work for you and the local community.