Newry.ie

Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley MLA and local representative Justin McNulty have met with the Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Paula Clarke yesterday afternoon to express their deep concerns over the future of twenty-four-seven Consultant cover at the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill in Newry.

Mr Bradley explained, “Over recent months we have become aware of the shortage in Consultants in the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital and the need to recruit the appropriately trained staff.  The SDLP have raised concerns about the potential impact of the shortage of Consultants in the Emergency Department before and warned that it could see the operation hours reduced, potentially closing at night. 

Protests over potential cuts to services took place in Newry earlier this year. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Protests over potential cuts to services took place in Newry earlier this year. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

“As if this wasn’t concerning enough, this week I learned that a Consultant in the Emergency Department has advised the Southern Trust that he is to leave his post in February.  This news is deeply concerning and will place even more pressure on an already fragile service.

“We sought an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of the Southern Trust to put our concerns directly to her and that took place this afternoon (Thursday).  We pressed the Chief Executive on recruitment plans and have sought assurances that plans will be in place to ensure that a twenty-four-seven service is retained at Daisy Hill Emergency Department.”

Local Representative Justin McNulty added, “Daisy Hill Hospital and its Emergency Department is a vital resource for the local community.  We witnessed thousands of people on the streets last year as we protested against the attack on Stroke Services at Daisy Hill.

“Consultant Cover is a vital part of the operational cover in any Emergency Department and the Southern Trust have been struggling to recruit additional consultants already, this development is another blow to the service locally. We need to see the Southern Trust put in place plans to ensure the twenty-four-seven service is retained at Daisy Hill Emergency Department, even if that means moving consultants from other sites or elsewhere in Northern Ireland.

Mr McNulty concluded, “We will continue our engagement with the Chief Executive and her team at the Trust to ensure this vital service is protected.  Dominic Bradley and I have requested a meeting with the Minister on this issue.  We need to see the Trust, the Department and ultimately the Minister Simon Hamilton ensure that the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill is retained into the future on a full time and permanent basis.”

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