Sinn Féin delegation to meet Health Trust CEOs
Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has confirmed that a senior Sinn Féin delegation will be attending a joint meeting with both the South Eastern and the Southern Health Trust Chief Executives to discuss the restoration of services at the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals.
The South Down MP was speaking following the publication of the Trusts' COVID19 recovery plans in recent days.
Mr Hazzard said:
“Due to the COVID19 pandemic our local community in the wider South Down and Newry area was left without local access to vital services in the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals as the health system’s response to the Coronavirus required what amounted to extraordinary measures for an extraordinary time.
“Both the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals were left unrecognisable as Emergency and Outpatients services - amongst others - were closed from Monday 30th March.
“Where required, all available staff and equipment from these units were also requisitioned for use in other parts of the Southern and South Eastern trust area.
"In agreeing to the radical reconfiguration of the Downe and Daisy Hill hospitals in March, our local community made a big sacrifice in order to accommodate the unprecedented demands made by the Health Trusts in the fight against COVID-19.
“This was the right thing to do at the right time; however, there is an onus now on Trust management to respond in kind to our local community.
“The recently published ‘Recovery Plans’ have delayed the restoration of vital services to our local community, this has caused significant concern amongst many people locally who fear that ‘temporary closure’ might inevitably mean ‘permanent removal’.
“A delegation of Sinn Féin representatives from the South Down, Newry and Armagh areas will now be meeting with both Shane Devlin (CEO Southern Trust) and Seamus McGoran (Interim CEO South Eastern Trust) in the days ahead to discuss the recovery plans, and ultimately the full restoration of services as soon as possible.”