Southern Trust Pulled Over Daisy Hill A&E Fears

Cllr Michael Savage angered at Southern Trust refusal to meet face to face

Cllr Michael Savage angered at Southern Trust refusal to meet face to face

As agreed at a meeting of Newry Mourn and Down District Council in the last term, a letter was sent from the Council Chief Executive’s office to the Southern Trust to seek clarification about emergency services at daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

The letter said: “At a meeting of Newry Mourne and Down District Council held on 6 June 2023, it was agreed that Council request an urgent meeting with Directors and management of the Southern Health Trust to discuss their future and emergency plans for the retention and enhancement of services at Daisy Hill Hospital.

There was unanamous support by members who highlighted serious concerns over the future of Daisy Hill Hospital and the effect it would have on the healthcare of the people in the South Down, South Armagh and greater Newry area.

I would ask you to give this matter your serious consideration…

Newry Councillor Michael Savage angered any the response of the Southern Health Trust to attend an online Microsoft Teams meeting only.

The Southern Hospital Trust subsequently agreed to participate in a Microsoft Teams online meeting and consequently received strong criticism from the political establishment.

SDLP Newry Councillor Michael Savage launched a blistering attack on the management of the Southern Health Trust for failing to met face-to-face with local councillors.

Councillor Savage accused the Southern Health Trust of ‘breath-taking hypocrisy’ by refusing to travel to meet Councillors face-to-face on Monday evening (tonight) “to interrogate the threat to vital health services at Daisy Hill Hospital.”

Councillor Savage added: “On June 5th Councillors unanimously passed an emergency motion which I proposed at the monthly meeting calling on the Trust to come before us to confront the current crisis at Daisy Hill.

“They have offered to join the meeting via ZOOM and used the excuse that meeting online would ‘avoid any extra travel time.’

“This is breath-taking hypocrisy from a Trust that has no problem expecting the most vulnerable citizens across the rural parts of our district to put up with ‘extra travel time’ to reach urgent health services.

“A 55 minute journey from Craigavon to Downpatrick pales into insignificance when you compare it to the travel time they expect very ill local people to travel from places like Culloville and Annalong for essential healthcare.”

“The Trust need to get real and get a grip on this crisis. Did they not see the thousands of people who took to the streets on Sunday to express their fears for Daisy Hill and their fury at the poor management that has jeopardised essential medical services.

“We need to hold the Trust to account and that is why we need them in front of us answering difficult questions from the elected representatives on behalf ofthe thousands of people who took to the streets in protest at the weekend.

“Council is the only form of local democracy that is functioning here and the Trust need to come before the people’s representatives to answer for their failings. TheTrust cannot be allowed to hide behind a screen or a dodgy WiFi connection. 

“The Trust need to turn up in person on Monday and allow us to interrogate their plans to get Daisy Hill, its staff and its patients, through this crisis and safeguard our hospital for future generations.

“This is too serious. Daisy Hill must be protected. Our lives depend on it.”