Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Civil Service boss told of “huge anger” over Daisy Hill

The Head of the Civil Service, Mr Malcolm McKibben, was informed of the “huge anger” felt across the district regarding emergency services at Daisy Hill hospital during a meeting with Sinn Fein MLAs on Monday last.

Assembly members Conor Murphy and Megan Fearon organized the meeting with Mr McKibben to discuss the threat from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to close night time service in Daisy Hill Hospital Emergency Department.   Following the  meeting, Mr Murphy said Mr McKibben “was left in no doubt as to the huge anger that exists in the area” over the Southern Trust’s approach to delivery of services in Daisy Hill.

Mr Murphy claims the failure of the Southern Trust to provide adequate medical cover ensuring 24 hour Emergency Department service in Daisy Hill is being viewed “as part of a strategy to downgrade services” at the hospital.

Revealing that he and Ms Fearon outlined to Mr McKibbon “the depth of anger and opposition” felt by people across the area, he said: “The Trust have recruited senior medical staff in recent times to service both Daisy Hill and Craigavon, it is their responsibility to ensure that this happens. Their plans to spend £1m on contingency plans in Craigavon while not addressing the issue of cover in Daisy Hill must be challenged by the Health Department.”

Mr McKibben pledged to speak with the Permanent Secretary of the Health Department and ask him to engage with the Trust, Ms Fearon said and added: “We expect further discussions with senior civil servants as a result of this initial meeting.  We will continue to step up the fight to protect services at Daisy Hill Hospital.”