Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

“Fight hard” for Daisy Hill ED, retiring medic urges

A Senior Consultant Physician who is set to retire after working at Daisy Hill Hospital for over two decades has urged the public to “fight hard” to retain the local hospital’s Emergency Department.

Announcing his intention to retire on his Facebook page last week, outspoken consultant Dr Donal Duffin outlined what a “pleasure and privilege”  it had been to work in Daisy Hill for the last 21 years.

“Lovely people looked after by equally lovely staff in a great hospital serving a community I’ve come to see as my own,” he wrote, before heaping more praise on the hospital he described as “the best hospital I’ve worked in in my almost 40 year career”.

Urging the public to continue the fight to retain Daisy Hill’s emergency department, Dr Duffin said: “The big Centres of Excellence are where I’d go for a bypass or brain surgery, but a local hospital, serving a local community, is what I need and want when I’m acutely unwell. And an acute hospital needs a fully staffed ED, so fight for it. Fight hard, you’ll regret it if you lose it.”

Dr Duffin has been vociferous in his support for the Emergency Department, addressing a public meeting on the issue in April.  Later that month, at a highly contentious Board meeting on the future of the department,  he confronted the Trust with documents he claimed were proof the Southern Trust had lied about the rates of remuneration paid to locums.

Signing off his retirement announcement, the highly revered consultant pledged to continue his support of the hospital: “..if you need help to support Daisy Hill, call me.  I may retire but to paraphrase what Gerry Adams once infamously said ‘I haven’t gone away you know’.  Look after the place, I’ll need it some day, hopefully not too soon,” he jokingly added.