Daisy Hill Emergency Department to Reopen Next Week.
Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) will reopen next Monday 19th October at 8.00am.
In March, the Department temporarily closed and staff transferred to Craigavon to run a second (Non Respiratory) Emergency Department as part of the Southern Trust response to COVID-19.
The Non Respiratory ED, based in the Ramone building at Craigavon Hospital will close from 4pm on Sunday 18th October. All adults coming to the site for emergency care should go to the main ED and children should be brought to Paediatric ED beside maternity.
Welcoming the return of his ED team along with Direct Assessment Unit colleagues to Daisy Hill Clinical Director, Dr Gareth Hampton, said: “Thanks to the wholehearted support of our staff, merging emergency care on to one site alongside intensive care, gave the Trust a strong response to COVID-19 during the first peak.
“However, we recognise the public concern that this has brought and have been working closely through the Daisy Hill Pathfinder Group to reopen the Emergency Department.
“Increasing cases of COVID-19 in the community along with the growing pressures on emergency care, has made this a challenging process.
“We have been working hard to get the hospital ready for the ED reopening and have new arrangements in place to reduce the spread of infection, including separate waiting areas for paediatrics, minor injuries, respiratory and non-respiratory patients.
“We also have a phone line and the Direct Assessment Unit for GP referrals, to help avoid crowded waiting rooms and reduce waiting times for patients with urgent, but less critical conditions.
“We appeal for public understanding of the extra demands on our staff. It is absolutely vital that those who need emergency care most are prioritised.
“So please choose the right service and follow our guidance to protect the service and keep everyone safe.”
When coming to the Emergency Department, please follow these guidlelines:
Only come to the Emergency Department with acute urgent symptoms – could you speak to your GP or community pharmacist first?
- Come alone if you can
- Wear a face covering
- Sanitise your hands
- Keep your distance
- Please follow the signage and staff guidance at all times
Statement on behalf of Daisy Hill Pathfinder Community Forum.
A spokesperson for the Pathfinder community group said: “On Monday 19th October, the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital will re-open, something the Pathfinder group have worked towards ever since it’s closure in March as a response to the first wave of Covid 19.
“During that time an incredible amount of planning and restructuring has been underway to ensure that a fully functioning emergency department could be opened in a safe and manageable way in light of all the social distancing measures that must be adhered to.
“This has been an exceptionally difficult and challenging task that required significant structural work to make the maximum use of the limited space available on the Daisy Hill site.
“Next Monday morning at 8am will see the culmination of all those efforts when the doors of ED are re-opened. Then begins the equally difficult task of keeping the service open.
“The future of the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill lies in the hands of the community.
“It is absolutely vital that the guidance about how to use the service is followed. Covid 19 is still with us and community spread is on the rise. The winter season will bring many additional pressures.
“Failure to follow the advice about accessing ED will potentially overwhelm the capacity of the service.”
The spokesperson added: “We cannot and must not let that happen. Everyone of us has a responsibility to ensure that our health services are used properly.
“Our lives and the lives of our families and friends depend on it. Our hospital is a precious resource, and we must protect it at all costs. Staff must be protected from unnecessary risks and exposure to Covid.
“Without staff we have no ED.
“It is so important that everyone of us plays our part. If we don’t we risk losing our ED again and that is a scenario we cannot contemplate. The choice is simple”.