The Southern Trust has welcomed plans for a public rally to show support for Daisy Hill Hospital.
And it has confirmed it is working with stakeholder organisations in a bid to “stabilise and sustain” the emergency department at the Newry-based hospital.
The Trust released a statement today (Friday) and said the rally was a welcome show of “public support” and “another opportunity for local people to express support for the hospital and the excellent services provided by our staff”.
The rally is being organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.
It is due to take place tomorrow morning (Saturday).
The Daisy Hill for Life campaign to encouraging all residents from Newry, South Down, Mournes, South Armagh and Banbridge areas to come along and support the council’s rally, to take place on Saturday at 11am, at the Albert Basin (Middlebank), Newry.
According to the Daisy Hill for Life group: “We all need to continue to stand together to maintain all acute hospital services (which we have paid for and are entitled to) in our area hospital – Daisy Hill. Daisy Hill Acute Hospital needs your continuing support.”
The Trust has spoken ahead of tomorrow’s event and emphasied again that all is being done to retain services.
A spokesperson said: “The rally organisers say it will focus on supporting the retention of acute services at Daisy Hill.
“We would emphasise that the Trust is also absolutely committed to this – the £8 million investment in a new paediatric centre on the 6th floor is just one recent example of this commitment.
“We have listened to, and understand, the community’s concerns about the Emergency Department and we are doing everything possible to keep a safe, sustainable 24/7 Emergency Service in Daisy Hill Hospital.
“Following the recent summit convened by the Department of Health we are fully engaged with HSC stakeholder organisations to pursue actions to stabilise and sustain the ED service – in particular a Daisy Hill Hospital Pathfinder Group has been tasked to produce an acute and emergency care implementation plan by September 2017.
“In the interim period action is underway to stabilise the rota in the ED, and detailed discussions are continuing with colleagues in other Trusts – these are progressing positively.
“The Trust senior team will be meeting with party representatives from Newry, Mourne and Down District Council early next week to discuss their concerns, and we look forward to working closely with the council in future.”