Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has said that the Southern Health & Social Care Trust seem set on closing the emergency department at Daisy Hill Hospital.

A Southern Trust document detailing the £500,000 cost of preparing Craigavon Hospital for Newry emergency patients.
A Southern Trust document detailing the £500,000 + cost of preparing Craigavon Hospital for Newry emergency patients.

Speaking after attending todays Southern Health & Social Care Trust Meeting the MP said that most in attendance felt that the Trust had set on a course of closing Daisy Hill Emergency Department and ultimately the  removal of it's acute hospital status. "I had hoped that the Trust would have been offering a solution to the ongoing concerns about staff cover at Daisy Hill Emergency Department, however what was announced was a recipe to ensure its eventual closure and ultimately the removal of its acute hospital status. We cannot allow this to happen"

Mr Brady continued "It is my view and that of many others that the Southern Trust do have sufficient senior staff to cover both Daisy Hill and Craigavon on a 24 hour basis, they need to manage their workforce to ensure there is no threat to service. 

"I am aware that Craigavon Hospital has redirected ambulances away from its Emergency Department on numerous occasions in recent months as it was unable to cope with the volume of patients. There is no logic to the Trust considering a reduction of service in Daisy Hill when Craigavon is already over stretched.

" Proposals using the term "duty of care" to spend £1million for additional inpatient accommodation for the Emergency Department in Craigavon using issues in Daisy Hill ED as an excuse to close services in Newry, is nothing but a selective and manipulative use of the term. What about the duty of care to the people of Newry, Armagh ,South Down and South Armagh.?"

The MP said that he and his Sinn Féin colleagues would continue their ongoing meetings  with the Trust to continue to state clearly the depth of feeling against any closure of Emergency Department services at Daisy Hill.

" The proposal to close night time Emergency Department services in Daisy Hill Hospital must be resisted by all who value the excellent service it provides. We will continue to work with staff, unions and the public to ensure that Daisy Hill Hospital  services are protected and expanded.  We will be meeting again with the Trust in the coming weeks to discuss further the propositions we put to them and to hold them to account for their responsibility to deliver a first class health service for all citizens in our area. "