A video showing a queue of ambulances outside Daisy Hill Hospital’s Emergency Department on Saturday night has been described as “scary” by one MLA.
SDLP’s Justin McNulty shared the short video on his social media, with the words: “Scary for patients and staff. God bless them all.”
In response, the Southern Trust said their hospitals were “very busy dealing with high volumes of ill patients”.
“We are doing our best to see patients as quickly as possible,” a Trust spokesperson said.
“High levels of Covid-19 are circulating in our local community and this is seriously impacting on all our services – we appeal to everyone to support us by doing all they can to reduce transmission and we ask that once treatment is finished, patients move to more appropriate accommodation so beds are available for patients needing urgent care.”
Newry Mourne and Down currently has the highest seven-day rate of the virus in the region with 858 cases per 100,000 people.
Meanwhile, the Newry and Armagh MLA has hit out at the lack of a drive-in Covid testing facility in Newry, branding the fact a “disgrace”.
Mr McNulty said: “The current Covid19 testing facility in Newry is inadequate and is putting many frail and elderly off getting a test. This is a retrograde step. It is a reduced service and the facility must be made accessible to all.’
“Over recent months the testing facility at the Albert Basin has changed from being accessible drive through facility to one which is inaccessible to the frail, elderly and disabled.
“As it is currently set up, those needing tested have to large distances in the freezing cold and in the dark. This is lunacy at any time, but given the current period of prolonged cold weather this could be potentially putting lives at risk.
“Having been contacted by a number of concerned constituents I have made spoken to representatives of the Public Health Agency and have also raised my concerns at the highest levels within the organisation. This must be rectified as a priority.”