Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Vital that 24-hour ED at Daisy Hill is retained: Brady

Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady has told a meeting of senior officials from the Southern Trust that emergency department services at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry must be kept available to the public on a 24-hour basis.

Thursday’s crunch meeting was called following the recent announcement by the Trust that night time emergency services at the hospital may be suspended due to unavailability of senior staff.

Leading a Sinn Fein delegation, Mr Brady said the Trust must “manage its workforce” and consider capping payments to locum consultants in a bid to encourage permanent staff to fill vacant posts.

“It is our view that the Southern Trust do have sufficient senior staff to cover both Daisy Hill and Craigavon on a 24 hour basis, they need to manage their workforce to ensure there is no threat to service,” Mr Brady claimed.

“We are aware that Craigavon Hospital has redirected ambulances away from its Emergency Department on numerous occasions in recent months as it was unable to cope with the volume of patients. There is no logic to the Trust considering a reduction of service in Daisy Hill when Craigavon is already over stretched.

“We also raised the issue of putting a cap on locum pay for consultants to encourage full time staff rather than unsustainable temporary arrangements,” he added.

“The proposal to close night time Emergency Department services in Daisy Hill Hospital must be resisted by all who value the excellent service it provides.  We will continue to work with staff, unions and the public to ensure that Daisy Hill Hospital services are protected and expanded.  We will be meeting again with the Trust in the coming weeks to discuss further the propositions we put to them and to hold them to account for their responsibility to deliver a first class health service for all citizens in our area.”