Newry.ie

The Belfast Telegraph has reported a claim by former health minister Jim Wells MLA that Daisy Hill Hospital's Emergency Department will close this Saturday.

The Trust haven't confirmed or denied the plan stating they are exploring a range of options to plan for a potential Covid-19 surge.

Mr Wells the Health Minister at Stormont from 2014-2015 claims that he was told of the move by an employee.

If Daisy Hill Hospital's Emergency Department closed the closest emergency facilities would be a forty minute drive away at Craigavon Hospital.

A fear locally would be that if it did close for the Coronavirus crisis the department might never re-open. Several campaigns have taken place locally in recent years to save both the hospital's emergency department and other acute services.

Daisy Hill Hospital Emergency Department. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
Daisy Hill Hospital Emergency Department. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

A Spokeswoman from the Southern Trust in a reply to a query by Newry.ie on the claim this morning said "The Trust is currently exploring a range of options to best plan for a potential surge of Covid-19 locally."

The Spokeswoman added that these options should be confirmed in the next day or so and they will pass them on to the public.

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