Gideon Bible agreement welcomed

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AGREEMENT has been reached between religious group Gideon International and the Southern Health Trust after bibles were temporarily removed from the bedsides of patients in Craigavon Area Hospital.

Concerns were raised last month when the Trust removed bibles from the bedside lockers in a bid to prevent the spread of infection. However, after meeting with Upper Bann MP David Simpson and some Assembly colleagues on the matter the trust has no agreed an arrangement where bibles can be placed at the bedside in a way that “promotes good infection control”.

Mr Simpson said, “Along with my colleagues Stephen Moutray and Sydney Anderson I have been of the opinion that there were two considerations to be kept in view.

“The first was that the Southern Trust is leading the way when it comes to infection control and has set the standard that other Trusts should seek to follow. The Southern Trust has the lowest C Difficile infection rates in Northern Ireland. It is vital that this is maintained and improved even further for the safety and good care of patients in hospital.

“The second was a ministry performed by the Gideon’s that very many people have derived great comfort from and which we were keen to preserve.

“I am pleased that a balance has been struck that meets the Trust’s requirements around infection control while at the same time preserving the Gideon’s ministry. “I want to thank both the representatives of Gideon’s International and senior Trust personnel for the way in which this issue has been approached and the way that they have worked together to obtain an outcome that is acceptable to all parties.”

He added that there are some minor details to be finalised but the new procedure should be in place soon.