Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Permanent Secretary pays visit to Daisy Hill Hospital  

The Permanent Secretary to the Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Mr Richard Pengelly paid a visit to Daisy Hill Hospital on Friday last where he met with staff and learned of a number of key developments, particularly in emergency medicine and paediatrics, at the hospital.

Senior medical staff updated Mr Pengelly on the £14.5 million development of hospital services for children and young people, which includes a centralised £7.9m unit for all planned paediatric surgery at Daisy Hill. He was also brought to the Paediatric Ambulatory Ward which opens to 9pm each week night, offering a wide range of tests and treatments for children and young people, helping to avoid the need for an overnight admission.

Staff also demonstrated how the paediatric team are availing of the most state of the art training with ‘high fidelity’ simulators of a baby and an infant. The hospital was the first in Northern Ireland to use this technology for paediatric training, allowing staff to practice procedures on mannequins which mimic the reactions of a very sick child.

Mr Pengelly was also given a demonstration of the first Telepresence Robot to be used in a UK hospital. The robot allows intensive care specialists at Craigavon Area Hospital to remotely observe and assess Daisy Hill patients.

Welcoming Mr Pengelly to Daisy Hill, Chief Executive (Interim) for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, Paula Clarke said: “The Southern Trust is committed to continuously improving our services to ensure we deliver safe, high quality care in a caring and compassionate way. We are delighted to welcome Mr Pengelly to Daisy Hill on an evening visit, particularly during our very busy winter period where he was able to see first hand the demands on our team to care for a growing number of patients and the range of initiatives we have in place to help ensure everyone is treated as quickly and safely as possible.”

“We really welcome the support and encouragement Mr Pengelly has shown to our staff as despite rising demand and ongoing financial pressures, they continue to demonstrate dedication to their patients and clients and enthusiasm for finding ways to improve care. Staff greatly appreciated the opportunity to highlight to the Permanent Secretary the excellent care they deliver every day as well as the challenges they face.”

Speaking after a tour of the hospital, Mr Pengelly said: “Having recently visited the Craigavon site, I am delighted to have the chance now to come to Daisy Hill to see how both hospitals work closely together to form an effective acute hospital network for all of the people living throughout the Southern area. I am impressed to see how the wide range of investments to Daisy Hill, along with the staff’s commitment to their patients and enthusiasm for trying new technologies and innovative practices are continually helping to improve safety and the service received by local people.”