The future of Daisy Hill’s Emergency Department will be discussed at a meeting of the Southern Trust later today (Thursday).
And it looks like Craigvon Hospital will be primed to take on added responsibility should Daisy Hill suspend its service in the future.
A spokesperson for the Trust said: On-going efforts to ensure a safe, sustainable Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital will be discussed at a meeting of the Southern Health and Social Services Trust Board today.
“Trust Board members will be updated on the on-going efforts to secure a regional approach to safely maintaining the Department on a 24/7 basis in light of the on-going staffing challenges.
“The Trust continues to actively engage with the Board, Department and colleagues in other Trusts in exploring every option to secure a sustainable service.
“As the service remains vulnerable at night due to the shortage of permanent senior medical staff, contingency arrangements will be outlined to ensure patients can continue to access safe, high quality care in the unfortunate event that medical cover could not be secured for more than one night.
“Therefore, the Board will be asked to approve preparations in Craigavon Area Hospital to accommodate an additional flow of patients should the service in Daisy Hill be temporarily suspended at night. This would be a last resort and the Trust is continuing to make every effort to avoid any temporary reduction in hours in the short term. There will be no permanent changes to any services without a full and comprehensive public consultation and engagement with local communities.
“Trust Board will continue to meet as necessary to review the situation in Daisy Hill Hospital and to seek assurance that all options are being explored.”