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Daisy Hill A&E on ‘verge of collapse’

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Daisy Hill A&E on ‘verge of collapse’ thumbnail

THE Southern Trust has failed to attract any applicants for consultancy roles solely based at Daisy Hill's Emergency Department since 2015.

At Thursday's (April 13) Trust Board meeting, which was called to discuss Daisy Hill Hospital's Emergency Department crisis, it was revealed that one consultant was appointed but that doctor is shared between Daisy Hill and Craigavon Area Hospital.

In October 2016, an applicant declined the post and since then the Trust has offered a 10 per cent wage increase but that has failed to entice any potential consultants.

The Trust's Clinical Director of Emergency Medicine Gareth Hampton stated that they have offered to pay consultants more than any other in Northern Ireland, while also confirming that there were 100 Emergency Department shifts not filled in April.

The Board also unanimously agreed to a £1million contingency plan for Craigavon in case the Emergency Department at Daisy Hill is suspended at night.

The plans will provide Craigavon's Emergency Department with additional inpatient accommodation.

Dr Richard Wright, Medical Director of the Southern Trust, told the Board that in order to safely run an Emergency Department there must be 10 consultants, however, Daisy Hill only has two.

This had led to fears that junior doctors will not have the support of senior staff that they need, which will ultimately collapse Daisy Hill's Emergency Department.

"For the last number of years we've been coping with difficulties of staffing at the Trust, in particular the shortage of Emergency Department staff," explained Dr Wright.

"Over the last two years we have tried to put measures in place, be it specialists or short term doctors .

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