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Southern Trust apologises for ‘regrettable’ delays in children’s operations at Daisy Hill

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

THE Southern Trust has apologised for "regrettable" delays in children's surgery which have taken place at Daisy Hill Hospital.

The news of the delays emerged last Thursday (May 10), and although no exact figures have been provided, it is understood that perhaps as many as 100 families may have been affected.

A Trust spokesperson told the Democrat that changes have taken place in the provision of children's hospital services in both Daisy Hill and Craigavon hospitals, which are aimed at reducing waiting times, and that full services will be up and running again soon.

"The Southern Trust can confirm that there has been a regrettable delay in providing some children's surgery within the Daisy Hill and Craigavon Hospitals," said the spokesperson.

"We are transforming our children's hospital services to deliver new ways of working that reduce the amount of time children need to spend in hospital. This has meant changes to how we provide services.

"Although children's emergency surgery has continued as normal, our children's theatres have not yet been running at full capacity. Children's surgery will be fully operational again at the start of June and patients will be contacted about surgery dates in due course.

"We are very sorry for any distress and inconvenience that has been caused. In the meantime, anyone who is concerned should contact 028 3756 2495 [between] 9am-5pm for advice and information."

Newry and Armagh MP Mickey Brady met with the Trust's Chief Executive Shane Devlin in recent days, after which he told the Democrat that he had also received an assurance in relation to paediatric surgery waiting times.

But the MP also urged caution in relation to the recent announcement of a cash injection for the health service

"The Chief Executive revealed that £30 million was being invested to help with hospital waiting lists," said Mr Brady.

"This will help address the problem with the current situation but ultimately will not solve the overall problem."

"Waiting lists need to be tackled through sufficiently funded transformation as laid out in Michelle O'Neill's 'Delivering Together' plan.

"Continued DUP-backed Tory austerity only undermines efforts to transform health and fail to address excessive waiting lists."

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