Daisy Hill at risk of being downgraded

Declan McAteer Posted by
Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

Daisy Hill may be one of the hospitals at risk of being downgraded.

A review into the Northern Ireland health service has said that the number of acute hospitals in Northern Ireland will probably have to be reduced from ten to seven or five at worst, with Daisy Hill one of the ten at risk.

The review – ‘Transforming Your Care, A Review Of Health And Social Care’ – said that other parts of the UK with a similar population size to that of Northern Ireland, would be served by just 4 hospitals. Should Daisy Hill be one of the hospitals to be downgraded, this would mean it could lose its Accident and Emergency department, which could see local patients having to travel to places like Belfast and Craigavon for urgent care.

Speaking to the Northern Ireland assembly today, Health Minister Edwin Poots said; “The report contains a compelling set of proposals for the future of health and social care services in Northern Ireland. It proposes a model which puts the individual at the centre. Health and social care services will be increasingly accessible in local areas. Patients will have to deal with fewer professionals and will be at the centre of decision-making about their treatment.”

He added, “There will be a significant shift from provision of services in hospitals to provision of services in the community, in the GP surgery, closer to home, where it is safe and effective to do this.”

The review into local health and care services was carried out by a team under Health and Social Care Board chief executive John Compton. Speaking about the review, Mr Compton said; “Our proposals, which are wide-ranging, deal with quality and outcomes as the determining factors in shaping our services; the need for patients to be better informed and to have choice and control over their care, particularly in their later years.”

He added, “It also describes changes to services for children and those with a disability or mental health difficulties. The new model underpins a sustainable and resilient service which the current model cannot deliver, and it provides a time frame within which change can happen in a structured, planned and thought-through way.”

Sinn Fein MLA for Newry and Armagh, Mickey Brady, who is also on the Health Committee, spoke earlier about the Compton Report; “We already know that Daisy Hill Hospital ticks all the boxes in terms of healthcare provision in Newry and its hinterland and I hope that on closer examination the Compton Report will corroborate this. I know that the Southern Health and Social Care Trust are well aware of the contribution of Daisy Hill Hospital to local healthcare and the excellent work being done there. I will be offering Daisy Hill every support in its future development.”

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