This Thursday will see the new Childrens Ward  at Daisy Hill Hospital's Paediatric Unit opening and yesterday Staff, service users and public representatives had the chance to have a look around the brand new facilities.

The new unit is part of an overall £14.5m plan to modernise hospital services for children and young people across the Southern Trust and will be complemented by the new ‘Blossom Children and Young People’s Centre’ at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Roisin Mulgrew and Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee with some of the new paediatric theatre team and Trust representatives
Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Roisin Mulgrew and Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee with some of the new paediatric theatre team and Trust representatives

All planned paediatric surgery for the entire Southern area will be undertaken at ‘The Daisy Children’s and Young People’s Unit’ on the sixth floor of the hospital from early January.

Speaking at the open day, Director of Children and Young People’s Services for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Paul Morgan said: “We are absolutely delighted to see the completion of our new paediatric unit at Daisy Hill, staff are excited to be moving patients into their new modern inpatient wing this Friday and we look forward to our impressive new theatre suite becoming operational in the new year.

“I would like to thank the design team and contractors for their dedication over the past year since building began. This has been a very ambitious development within the building and our own staff have worked tirelessly to ensure the project was completed with minimal disruption. We greatly appreciate the co-operation of patients, visitors and staff throughout the hospital in helping us to modernise and transform our services to ensure that children and young people coming to Daisy Hill receive the best possible care in the highest standard of facilities.”

Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Roisin Mulgrew and Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee with Geraldine Maguire, Assistant Director, Specialist Child Health and Disability Services, Siobhan Rooney, Non Executive Director, Bernie McGibbon, Head of Service, Pauline Grant, Planning Team with Children’s Ward Managers Sister Ciara McCrink and Sister Bronagh Corr.
Chairperson of Newry Mourne and Down District Council, Roisin Mulgrew and Southern Trust Chair Roberta Brownlee with Geraldine Maguire, Assistant Director, Specialist Child Health and Disability Services, Siobhan Rooney, Non Executive Director, Bernie McGibbon, Head of Service, Pauline Grant, Planning Team with Children’s Ward Managers Sister Ciara McCrink and Sister Bronagh Corr.

The Daisy Children and Young People’s Unit includes; a dedicated child friendly theatre suite with  recovery area; 19 inpatient beds including a negative pressure room; and four short stay beds for the increasing number of patients who can receive treatment that does not require an overnight stay. It also has a parents’ breakout room with shower facilities and a playroom with sensory equipment.

The Trust reminds people to always go the Emergency Department on the ground floor of the hospital for assistance with a serious, urgent condition.

Huge Boost to local health services

Conor Murphy MLA, Chairperson of Newry Mourne & Down Council Cllr. Roisin Mulgrew & Mickey Brady MP attend launch of new Paediatric Unit
Conor Murphy MLA, Chairperson of Newry Mourne & Down Council Cllr. Roisin Mulgrew & Mickey Brady MP attend launch of new Paediatric Unit

Commenting on a trip to the new facility Mickey Brady MP said it is a huge boost to local health services for citizens in Newry and Armagh, and across the Southern Trust area.

“This new paediatric unit is an exciting new facility which acknowledges the importance of Daisy Hill Hospital, and the services it provides, to the local community.

“This new facility comes alongside plans to modernise paediatric care across the entire Trust area.

“The dedication and innovation of paediatric staff in Daisy Hill Hospital are the backbone of this unit, and are instrumental in maintaining an excellent service in difficult circumstances.

“This new facility, alongside the appointment of a new consultant to the Emergency Department, is a welcome but overdue recognition of the importance of frontline services in Daisy Hill.”

World class facility

Newry and Armagh MLA, Justin McNulty MLA described the facility as world class and has praised everyone involved in its delivery.

Mr McNulty explained, ‘The opening of the new Paediatric ward in Newry is a long time in the planning but it is a remarkable facility for all who will use, visit or work in the facility. The completion of the new state of the art unit, which is the mirror image of a new facility at Craigavon is a real vote of confidence in Daisy Hill and the staff who work there.’

Justin McNulty, MLA with staff from the new unit.
Justin McNulty, MLA with staff from the new unit.

‘Hospitals can be daunting for the most of us, but this new environment will make any stay in hospital a much more pleasant experience for the young people being treated here. Not only will they be treated in a modern and specialist environment but the medical professionals will have the access to the most modern equipment and services.’

‘This is a wonderful facility and I want to congratulate the Chief Executive Francis Rice and his team at the Southern Trust for the vision and commitment in making this facility a reality. We often point out where the Trust gets things wrong, so it’s important we acknowledge and congratulate them when they deliver a world class state of the art facility such as this.’