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Daisy Hill's A&E service to stay open around the clock

By Staff Reporter

The Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital will stay open 24 hours a day "for the foreseeable future", the Southern Health Trust has said.

The announcement came after a health 'summit' hosted by the Department of Health and attended by a range of agencies, including the Public Health Agency (PHA), Belfast Trust and Ambulance Service.

Night-time cover had been under threat due to staff shortages.

The BBC reported that it understands consultants will be drafted in from the Belfast Health Trust to help fill the rota.

Southern Trust chief executive Stephen McNally said after yesterday's meeting that "the Trust remains fully committed to delivering safe, sustainable 24/7 emergency services at Daisy Hill Hospital for the foreseeable future.

"We now have the concerted support, from across the Health and Social Care system, to develop a viable plan that will address the immediate pressures and look to stabilise the provision of emergency services at Daisy Hill. This will allow the Trust to plan, taking on board the voice of service users through co-production, and co-design, for the future services to meet the health needs of the people in the Newry and Mourne area."

A Department spokesperson added: "All attendees at the summit agreed with the Department that in light of the clinical need, current size and projected growth of the population of Newry and Mourne, acute services need to be retained there. Work on achieving that regional approach, in a safe and sustainable way, will now gather pace."

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