‘Occupational Health Department must return to Newry as scheduled’ – McKevitt
SDLP South Down MLA Karen McKevitt said it is essential that the occupational health department is returned to Daisy Hill Hospital as planned.
Speaking to Newry Times, McKevitt said she sought an urgent meeting in April with the Human Resources Director for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust after hearing reports that the occupational health department at Daisy Hill Hospital was to close down either for a year or indefinitely. “At the meeting it was confirmed to me that the department was to be temporarily relocated to the Craigavon and Armagh sites due to staff shortages in Newry. I was assured by the Director that this action was only temporary and that after a period of 9-12 months the department would once again be located in Daisy Hill.”
She continued, “Occupational Health is a vital department as it is charged with promoting and protecting the health and well-being of all staff by assisting the prevention of ill health and enabling them to remain at work. It is therefore vital that staff can easily avail of the services. I previously arranged with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust that local treatment be provided to staff who were in need of urgent treatment or with no access to transport.”
“These measures may be sufficient for the short-term to accommodate staff shortages, but by no means are they not an adequate substitute for a permanent local occupational health department. It is crucial that the department is returned to Daisy Hill Hospital as planned if not sooner,” McKevitt added.
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