Onus on DoH to find solution to Daisy Hill ED problem: McNulty

April 10, 2017

An SDLP delegation, led by MLA Justin McNulty, met with the Acting Chief Executive of the Southern Trust, Mr Francis Rice, on Thursday to discuss the crisis regarding the future of the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital.

Speaking afterwards, Mr McNulty said that in the absence of a Stormont Health Minister, an urgent response from the Department of Health is needed to safeguard the future of Daisy Hill’s A&E, which, he claims, is “on the line”.

Mr McNulty was joined by South Down MLA Sinead Bradley and Councillors Pete Byrne and Kate Loughran who conveyed the concerns of the community to the Trust representatives, pointing out that the people of Newry, Mourne and south Armagh deserve equal health services as those in Craigavon or Belfast.

“We pressed the Acting Chief Executive and his team on the very real concerns in the community about the future of the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill.  It is a workforce issue and they have made numerous efforts to recruit the appropriately qualified staff, including offering enhanced packages with recruitment exercises on a global level,” Mr McNulty reported.

“Whilst I do appreciate the efforts the Southern Trust have been making in this regard, this is a much bigger issue than the Southern Trust, this is a regional problem and can only be resolved with a regional solution.  Therefore, following [Thursday’s] meeting and in the absence of a Health Minister, I have now sought an urgent meeting with the Permanent Secretary at the Department of Health.  He must put in place interim and then long term solutions to this issue.  The solution must secure the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill 24/7.”

Mr McNulty says Daisy Hill’s A&E department is an extremely important service for the people of Newry, Mourne and south Armagh who “will not accept a second class service” and he pledged his party’s continued support in seeking a permanent solution to the issue.