Liz Kimmins MLA is Very Upset At The Delay To The Re-Opening of the Daisy Hill Emergency Department in Newry.
Following what was described as a frank and honest meeting with Southern Trust Chief Executive Shane Devlin, this afternoon, Sinn Féin MLA Liz Kimmins has conveyed her extreme disappointment at the news that the reopening of Daisy Hill Emergency Department will be delayed.
Liz Kinnins said: “Sinn Féin are extremely disappointed at this setback” and added: “The people of Newry and the surrounding areas are rightly concerned about the full return of Emergency Service cover and we have conveyed this serious concern to representatives of the Southern HSC Trust.
“Senior Trust Management assured us at the meeting that this is unrelated to the reports that there have a number of positive Covid-19 cases within the hospital, but is as a result of delays in completing necessary building works to the Emergency Department.
“The Trust says that this work is essential to ensure that Department can reopen safely and provide the level of care that the people of Newry and the surrounding area deserve.
“We have also been liaising with members of the Pathfinder Group who have been working with the Trust for the last three years, and they have shared their disappointment in this setback.”
The Newry & Armagh MLA told the Trust management present that “it was in the interest of public confidence that Daisy Hill Emergency Department reopens, and gets back to its full capacity as soon as possible.”
The Newry MLA also added that: “During what has been a very difficult time for everyone, we relayed the ongoing and serious erosion of public confidence in the South Eastern HSC Trust Trust on this issue and stated the need for them to hold firm to this date to ensure this vital service returns to Daisy Hill.
“No further delay is acceptable.
“The Trust has since stated that they were entirely committed to the Emergency Department reopening in full as soon as it is possible to do so. Sinn Féin will continue to hold them to this commitment.”
At the meeting, local Sinn Féin representatives raised further issues.
Mickey Brady MP raised the prospect of surgical care being reduced once the Emergency Department re-opens. Speaking after the meeting Mr Brady said: “I raised the stark concerns of local people that surgical care may be affected going forward.
“Daisy Hill Hospital is an incredible resource with a growing positive reputation, including in surgical care. The Trust gave us a firm commitment to guaranteeing surgical care around the clock going forward.
“We conveyed our ongoing gratitude for the work being done by all hospital staff during these extremely difficult times.”