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SAVED... FOR 15 MONTHS

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

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DAISY Hill's Emergency Department (ED) has been saved from closure - for now.

The Southern Trust announced at its latest Board meeting on Thursday that, followingdiscussions with Northern Ireland's Health and Social Care Trusts, that the ED would remain open for the next 15 months on a 24/7 basis.

However, it was made clear that the growing population of the Newry and Mourne area was a major concern.

Trust Acting Chief Executive, Stephen McNally, said: "The 15 month period is only to allow people breathing room. We want to get to a stage where [Emergency Department staffing levels] no longer represents a risk to patients.

“The plan is that it will be put into place at the end of the 15 month period."

However, the news has been met with a degree of scepticism by the Daisy Hill Action Group's Chairperson, Francis Gallagher.

Following the meeting, he told the Democrat: "The future is evolving.

More emergency department doctors will be coming out of training and available to practice, other emergency departments throughout the province will be under pressure, so how can a health trust say next week what they will be doing in 15 months time?"

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