Nursing staff at Craigavon Hospital were asked to volunteer to work additional shifts last week to cope with “extenuating circumstances”.
The call, “due to an unprecedented spike in activity in acute hospitals across the province”, was to cover an initial 48-hour period.
Ulster Unionist MLA Jo-Anne Dobson said the call was a “worrying development” and highlighted just how much pressure acute hospitals and their staff are facing.
A spokesman for the Southern Trust said, “Contacting our own flexible nursing staff is a quick and effective way of securing extra nursing support. As a result of their hard work, all our hospitals are coping with the demand for admissions and patients continue to receive high quality care and treatment.”