Sf meet health bosses over ED future

Sinn F�in MLA John O Dowd and Councillor Kevin Savage
Sinn F�in MLA John O Dowd and Councillor Kevin Savage

Concerns about the knock on effect of any closure at Daisy Hill may have on Craigavon Hospital have been raised by Sinn Fein at a top level meeting.

Sinn Féin MLA John O’Dowd and Councillor Kevin Savage met senior officials at the Southern Health Trust about the possible night time closure of Daisy Hill Emergency Department and the ‘inevitable knock on effect at Craigavon Hospital Emergency Department’.

Mr O’Dowd said: “There is widespread concern about the possible night time closure of Daisy Hill ED. My party colleagues from Newry and Armagh have been involved in an intensive campaign to keep the department open and I fully support them.

“The Trust must do everything in its power and be imaginative in its solutions towards Daisy Hill. The potential knock on effect to Craigavon ED is a matter of deep concern to me. Craigavon ED is already very busy with reports of staff working under extreme pressure. While the Trust confirmed they had contingency plans in place for Craigavon if Daisy Hill was to close at night we are still very much of the view the best solution for patients and staff is to keep Daisy Hill open.

Cllr Savage added: “Daisy Hill Emergency Department remains the first and only option for many of my constituents in the wider Banbridge area. I am very concerned at reports that the Trust are planning to close the Department at night. The Trust confirmed to us that this is not a funding issue but rather the need to secure Consultant cover for the rotas and we urged the Trust to use all resources at their disposal to do so.”