Allegations made by Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady regarding Out of Hours and Ambulance Cover at Daisy Hill Hospital have been strongly refuted by the Southern Trust.
Mr Brady had previously stated that “on a regular number of occasions the ‘Out of Hours’ services in Newry has been closed at night time and that has happened throughout the Southern board area in other facilities”.
He added: “Along with revelations about ambulance cover, and the non availability of vital medication on hospital site, it is only too apparent that there are serious issues and those paying the price for these lack of services are those who require them and those workers placed at the front line having to cope without these essential resources.”
However a Trust Spokesperson told Armagh I that these allegations were unfounded.
“The Trust refutes the allegation that the Out of Hours service in Newry has been closed on a regular number of occasions,” said the spokesperson.
“We want to reassure the public that the GP Out of Hours service in Newry and across the Southern Trust Area has never been closed to patients.
“The GP Out of Hours Service provides services to the total Southern Trust population of approximately 360,000 people. This is a telephone-based service (you have to ring first) and is always available from 6pm each weekday evening and available 24 hours a day on Saturdays and Sundays and Bank Holidays.
“We have been experiencing difficulties for some time in filling GP shifts in the Out of Hours service. While the service was not fully staffed overnight on Monday, January 5, all patients who needed the GP OOH service received a telephone consultation, appointment at Daisy Hill Hospital base or a home visit.
“We continue to make every effort to ensure that reduced opening times at our GP Out of Hours are kept to a minimum and we want to remind people that they should always phone the GP Out of Hours first on Tel: 028 3839 9201.
“Finally, Mr Brady also suggests that ‘vital medication’ wasn’t available on the hospital site on a particular occasion and the Trust has asked for more detailed information before this could be investigated fully.”
However, Mr Brady has since responded.
He said: “Whatever way the Board want to dismiss and refute, not only my concerns but many peoples concerns, in relation to the out of hours services and resources available in the Southern area, the bottom line is problems exist and need sorted.”
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