SDLP Councillors Call For Timetable For Hospitals Re-Opening

SDLP seek firm timetable on reopening of Hospital services.

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SDLP seek firm timetable on reopening of Hospital services.

Newry Mourne and Down Councillors have responded to statements on the restoration of services at the Downe and Daisy Hospitals from the Southern HSC Trust and the South Eastern HSC Trust and call for a firm timetable on the reopening of suspended services.

SDLP Council Group Leader on Newry Mourne and Down District Council Pete Byrne said: “Over the last week myself and SDLP assembly and council colleagues up and down this district have made representations to the South Eastern Trust, Southern Trust and Department of Health regarding the restoration of services at the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals.

Both Trusts have since issued statements in relation to their positions on the restoration of services.

SDLP Councillors Gareth Sharvin and Peter Byrne (Council Group Leader).

“Over recent weeks we have seen the plan to phase out lockdown restrictions enacted. We have listened to and seen media reports that the NHS is able to cope with the current situation in hospitals.

“With these changes taking place, it was incumbent on elected representatives to ask questions relating to non Covid-19 related service provision and the restoration of these services.

“We appreciate assurances from both Trust’s, however, actions speak louder than words. What we need to see is detail of when and how such services will be restored.”

Regarding services at the Downe Hospital, Downpatrick SDLP Councillor Gareth Sharvin said: “The announcement from the South Eastern Trust yesterday providing assurance that it absolutely remains the Trust’s intention to restore all services in the Downe Hospital to pre-Covid-19 levels as soon as they safely can, is welcomed… but with hesitation.

“The wording of the announcement does not provide the full assurance and comfort the people of South Down deserve and seek from the Trust.

“When we hear that the wall clock from the Emergency Department was even taken down while the temporary closure was being implemented, does not give the people of South Down the feeling of honesty from the Trust.

“The present Downe Hospital was fought for by the people of South Down and today continues to be the biggest priority for everyone in our area. The excellent services provided pre-Covid-19 must be restored to save lives and protect our NHS.

“In addition, the South Eastern HSC Trust must give full commitment that all other services will remain at the Downe Hospital such as GP Out of Hours and the Downe Midwifery Led Unit.

“When the Trust has provided this recovery plan with a timeframe, only then will they have given the people of South Down the full assurance and comfort that the Downe Hospital will be restored to its normal service.”