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Angry scenes outside Southern Trust HQ as public try gain access to meeting

Southern Trust will hold a summit next week

Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry

The Southern Trust will hold a summit next week in a bid to sustain Daisy Hill’s emergency cover.

It was confirmed today that the summit will bring together health professionals, the Public Health Agency and the Ambulance Service.

Interim Chief Executive Stephen McNally has asked the Department to host it, which will be held early next week.

“The Trust Board is fully committed to Daisy Hill Hospital, and will explore every option to keep the Emergency Department open, as long as services can be safely provided,” said Mr McNally.

“This summit will bring together the collective expertise of health professionals from across Northern Ireland to support our efforts in maintaining the service in future.”

It is understood there were angry scenes outside the headquarters of the Trust today, as members of the public tried to gain access to the board meeting.

On Monday evening around 800 people were out in force in Newry to show their displeasure and anger at temporary overnight closures of the hospital’s Emergency Department.

Earlier this month a Trust statement said: “Despite numerous recruitment efforts over the last two years, both nationally and internationally, there continues to be a shortage of permanent senior medical staff.

“The current service is supported mainly by locum medical staff, and the continuing goodwill of clinical staff across the Trust.

“The Trust has been working closely with the Health and Social Care Board,  the Department of Health and Trust colleagues across Northern Ireland to collectively explore potential opportunities to address the staffing challenges with the aim of trying to maintain 24/7 ED cover at Daisy Hill Hospital.

“The service currently remains vulnerable to the short notice withdrawal of senior medical cover, particularly during the summer months when there is a less secure supply of locum consultants.”

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