Trust sorry for ‘regrettable’ delay in paediatric surgery 

May 14, 2018

The Southern Trust has apologized for what it termed the “regrettable delay” in providing paediatric surgery in Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area hospitals.

Although the overall figure has not been revealed, it is believed dozens of children are affected by the hold-up, despite some of the cases being considered as urgent.

Some parents claimed they have not been kept informed, despite lengthy delays in their children’s treatment.

Newry and Armagh Sinn Fein MP Mickey Brady criticized the delay and met with Trust Chief Executive Shane Devlin on Friday to discuss concerns raised over this and other issues.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Brady says he has been assured that the schedule for children’s surgery within the Trust area will be “fully operational” by the beginning of June.

“The Chief Executive apologised for any distress and inconvenience caused and gave an assurance that children’s surgery would be fully operational again at the start of June and that patients would be contacted about surgery dates in due course. 

“In the meantime, anyone who is concerned should contact 028 3756 2495 between 9am and 5pm for advice and information,” he added.

A spokeswoman for the Southern Trust said both Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals have adopted new working procedures which have meant changes in the way services are provided.

“Although children’s emergency surgery has continued as normal, our children’s theatres have not yet been running at full capacity,” she said. “We are very sorry for any distress or inconvenience that has been caused.”

Meanwhile, Mr Brady said other matters including waiting times for consultations and treatment were also discussedduring Friday’s meeting, and revealed that £30m is to be invested to help reduce hospital waiting lists.

He said: “This will help address the problem with the current situation but ultimately will not solve the overall problem.  Waiting lists need to be tackled through sufficiently funded transformation as laid out in Michelle O’Neill’s ‘Delivering Together’ plan.  Continued DUP-backed Tory austerity only undermines efforts to transform health and fails to address excessive waiting lists.”

 The MP was accompanied by Newry & Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan who said initiatives being funded under the £100m Health and Social Care Transformation fund, and how they may impact on those served by the Southern Health Trust, were also discussed.

“The planned package of investments for 2018/19 includes £15m for enhancing primary care – care which is largely provided from GP practices,” he said.  “This will include some £5m for the roll-out of Multi Disciplinary Teams (MDTs) at GP practices. The establishment of practice-based physiotherapists, mental health specialists and social workers – working alongside doctors and nurses will hopefully help address the wide range of needs that currently are required by those within the health care system.”