Cllr Dickson, his party’s Local Government Chief Whip, stated: “These Accident and Emergency services are absolutely crucial to the people of East Antrim across the whole of Carrickfergus, Newtownabbey and beyond.
It is nothing short of a disgrace that they have been cut back.
“This move will mean that, after 5pm, people in East Antrim will have no option but to travel into Belfast City or to Antrim – both lengthy journeys – to get the extremely important treatment they need.
“To make matters worse, there is no indication that the Northern and Eastern Health Boards have been in contact about cooperating so that even this works effectively.
“It is absolute nonsense that this move will make patients safer. It will be far more unsafe for them to have to travel further in an emergency. The truth is this is about cost-cutting in the most inappropriate areas.
“We were of the belief that not only are there sufficient funds to maintain the current level of service, but that indeed A+E services at Whiteabbey may be extended.
“I have been a consistent advocate for this hospital for 25 years, and do not intend to give up making its case. The people of East Antrim deserve much better than this.”