Newry & Armagh MLA Mickey Brady has said that serious questions need to be answered in relation to Out of Hours and Ambulance Cover at Daisy Hill Hospital Newry.

Daisy Hill Hospital
Daisy Hill Hospital

He also stated that it was about time the Southern Health Board and senior Hospital management came clean about  what services there that  are under threat after he was contacted by a person after being directed to Daisy Hill Hospital Dispensary had when they arrived there been informed  that vital medication they had required was not available and they would have to go to Craigavon.

"On a regular number of occasions the "Out of Hours" services in Newry has been closed at night time. This also seems to have happened throughout the Southern board area in other "Out of Hours" facilities. Along with revelations about ambulance cover, and the non availability of vital medication on hospital site, it is only to apparent that there are serious issues and those paying the price for these lack of services are those who require them and those workers placed at the front line having to cope without these essential resources" said the MLA.

The Sinn Féin MLA revealed that last week he had written to the Southern Board asking them about the night time closures of "Out of Hours" in Daisy Hill Newry and throughout the Southern area and also about the reduction of medical and administration staff from the "Out of Hours" services in the Southern area.

"I also queried as to the impact in A& E services if "Out of Hours" were not available to people seeking them" he said.

The MLA continued by stating that whilst he had received an initial response to his queries accepting that at times "Out of Hours" on site night services were not available. "The Board was also claimed that this did not impact on those needing medical attention and basically blamed this sorry state on the fact that staff couldn't be got to work there".

He concluded "I am presently awaiting a detailed reply to all my concerns about the "Out of Hours" services in Daisy Hill and throughout the Southern area and then I  will meet with senior Board Officers and Hospital management to discuss those responses. 

Questions need to be answered. There has to be  a straight talking  discussion involving all stakeholders as to where the Board and senior Management are taking Daisy Hill. We need to find out if there are medical staff shortages, why this is the case and exactly where the Board are looking to recruit those staff and remedy this situation as a matter of urgency.

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