£1.65m investment boost for Daisy Hill Emergency Department welcomed

Posted by
Monday, June 11th, 2018
Community, News

A roadmap for the future of Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department is now a reality – thanks to a meaningful partnership between the local community, workforce and the health and social care system.

The Department of Health has confirmed details of an investment package as part of a long-term plan to sustain and bolster urgent and emergency care at the Newry hospital.



It includes an initial £650,000 this year from the Department’s health and social care transformation fund.

The package also includes a £1million capital funding allocation this year from the Southern Trust, to improve infrastructure at the hospital site.

Last year, the Southern Trust highlighted difficulties in maintaining a safe and sustainable Emergency Department service at Daisy Hill, due to difficulties in staffing a viable consultant rota.

This led to the establishment of the Daisy Hill Hospital Pathfinder Group (DHHPG) as a mechanism for engagement with the local workforce and community to develop a viable response to the situation.



The Pathfinder Group’s work has led to the investment package confirmed today.

Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said, “Co-production is much more than just a buzzword in health and social care. It means working step by step with those who deliver and use services to build for the future by sharing the evidence about how best to meet the healthcare needs of local populations and taking the right decisions for the right reasons.

“Today’s Daisy Hill Hospital announcement shows co-production in action – and delivering for everyone. Great credit and thanks must go to the Pathfinder Group, and to the workforce and community representatives who have helped make this happen,” he added.

Southern Trust Chief Executive Shane Devlin said, “We are delighted that today investment to support urgent care in the Newry and Mourne area has been confirmed by the Department. This is the first stage of a viable long-term plan. All of us involved in the Pathfinder process wanted the same thing – a service that would be sustainable for years to come.



“The support, engagement and enthusiasm of the local community, working alongside our staff, has been key to helping us to firstly secure local services, and to then work with us to develop a plan that will transform our services to meet the specific needs of the local population.

Shane added, “We have developed a model for services that reflects what the local community needs – and the support of the Department of Health shows their confidence in this ground-breaking process.”

The £650,000 investment involves: transforming and modernising services for patient assessment, diagnostics, discharge and care in the community; strengthening primary care and links between primary and secondary care; diversifying and strengthening the workforce; ensuring that the existing hospital-based services are secured; and investing in the leadership at Daisy Hill Hospital through the appointment of a new director for the hospital.

Thanks to the Southern Trust’s £1million capital investment a new admissions and assessment unit will be established alongside the Emergency Department. This will help ensure attending patients receive the most appropriate care and treatment.



Newry and Armagh  Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy welcomed the announcement. “This investment is very welcome news and a boost to local health services for citizens in Newry and Armagh and across the Southern Trust area. It is also a welcome but overdue recognition of the importance of frontline services in Daisy Hill.

“This investment will help allay the concerns that many had after the suggested temporary suspension of access to services at Daisy Hill A&E meant the downgrading of the Emergency Department.

The Sinn Féin MLA added, “This investment acknowledges the importance of Daisy Hill Hospital, the dedication of its staff and the life-saving services it provides to the local community.”

SDLP Newry and Armagh MLA Justin McNulty echoed these sentiments. “It is extremely welcome that Daisy Hill Hospital is to get an initial £1.65 million investment to help fund urgent and emergency care, specifically in relation to recruitment and restructuring the Emergency Department model,” he told Newry Times.



“This money will go some way in ensuring that services are both protected and sustainable. While I welcome any money that is being made available for Daisy Hill, it is essential that investment continues to provide assurances after years of campaigning.

“This is a vital step in ensuring that services at Daisy Hill are secured after a period of uncertainty over the future of the Emergency Department. Much of this money will go into strengthening the workforce which is imperative following a period of staffing challenges.

McNulty added, “I must acknowledge the hard work of local people who have been campaigning for years to protect our Emergency Department and those involved in the Pathfinder Group. I have been working and pressing on this issue and the SDLP has consistently made clear that the closure of any services at Daisy Hill Accident and Emergency would not be accepted.”



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