The campaign to protect Accident & Emergency services at the Daisy Hospital in Newry has intensified this week as the first steps in Judicial Review proceedings have been taken on behalf of the local community.
Speaking from the Daisy Hill Hospital, Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MLA said:
“With more than 53,000 patients accessing Emergency services at the Daisy Hill last year a collective sigh of relief was evident last month when the Trust publicly acknowledged that there remains a need for the acute services to be retained in Newry to accommodate current, and future demand.
“However the Southern Trust’s position was diluted somewhat in private correspondence to Sinn Féin when they stated that ‘in the event that some suspension of overnight Emergency Department services has been necessary, this would inevitably cause a chain of events resulting in service diminishment.’
“To that end the community remain concerned as to the current position being adopted in respect of the proposals by the Trust for ensuring that Emergency Services at the Daisy Hill remain in operation as they currently are, and are not subject to any such temporary or permanent closure.
“Therefore the Southern Trust have been asked to confirm that in line with their previous public statements and their statutory obligations pursuant to Section 20 of the Health & Social Care (Reform) Act 2009, a consultation will be commissioned in the event that a proposal for change is advanced for the Daisy Hill Emergency Department.
Mr Hazzard added:
“The Southern Trust have also been asked to confirm that an Equality Impact Assessment has been conducted in relation to the current approach by the Trust to the provision of services to the Craigavon Area Hospital and that of Daisy Hill; and that they also now publish the findings of the assessment.
“In addition the Trust have been asked to confirm that they have assessed the impact that any temporary or permanent closure of Daisy Hill would have on the Craigavon Area hospital.
“If the Southern Trust fail to confirm that appropriate arrangements have been put in place to ensure Daisy Hill Emergency Department remains open, judicial review proceedings before the High Court will commence in the coming weeks.”