Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Green light for Paediatric Centre of Excellence at Daisy Hill

Daisy Hill Hospital is set to receive a multi million pound investment in services for children and young people after planning permission was approved for a new Paediatric Centre of Excellence based at the Newry hospital.

The £8.4 million development, which is part of an overall £15 million paediatrics development across the Newry and Craigavon Area Hospitals,  has been given the go-ahead by Newry Mourne and Down District Council after a planning application was submitted by the Southern Health Trust for the redevelopment of the existing sixth floor at Daisy Hill Hospital into a paediatrics ward.

The Examiner understands that all planned paediatric surgery for the Southern Trust will be centralised in the new purpose built centre of excellence while a further £6.9m will be used to upgrade paediatric services at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The current level 6 area at Daisy Hill hospital will be redeveloped to include a new child-friendly theatre suite and recovery area as well as a 20 bed children’s ward, and a dedicated area for paediatric outpatients and ambulatory care – all custom designed to support the delivery of the most up to date clinical standards for the treatment and care of children and young people

SDLP Assembly Member for Newry and Armagh Dominic Bradley MLA welcomed confirmation from the Acting Chief Executive of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust that work on the new paediatric development will commence on site in the New Year.

Speaking after meeting with Mrs Clarke, Mr Bradley said the investment was “good news for Daisy Hill and for paediatric care in the Southern Trust.”

The development had been announced in November last year by the then Health Minister Jim Wells, however in recent weeks doubts had been raised whether the development would actually go ahead.  Mr Bradley said he had received assurances from the Chief Executive that “everything is very much on track for the development of the new facility and they expect a contractor to be on site in the New Year and the facility to be operational in 2017.”

“Daisy Hill is an excellent hospital and offers key acute services for the Southern Trust area,” added Mr Bradley.

“This development will see all planned and elective paediatric surgery carried out at Daisy Hill and will include the provision of a new dedicated Paediatric Theatre and associated suites in Newry.”

The Newry and Armagh MLA sought to reassure people that the investment in a smaller emergency type Paediatric facility in Craigavon which would deal only with emergency and non-elective procedures did not pose any threat to the proposals for Daisy Hill and said that, having met with the Acting Chief Executive last week, he is assured “that the Trust are very much committed to the development of the Centre of Excellence at Daisy Hill and look forward to work commencing on site in 2016.”