Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said that a lack of planning and severe mismanagement by the trust has brought a number of services to near collapse.
The Newry and Armagh MLA said:
“Daisy Hill is a vital part of our Health service and both the Southern Trust and the Department of Health must make it their highest priority to retain acute care services at the hospital now and into the future.
“The lack of planning by the Trust has seen an alarming number of consultants leave their posts, putting services and patient safety in a precarious position.
“I have engaged with the permanent secretary for Health and I will be seeking further meetings to emphasise that there can be no collapse in services at Daisy Hill.
“Any collapse in local services will see pressure heaped on other hospitals across the north who are already under intense pressure.
“The current crisis has shown that the Southern Health Trust has been disingenuous and misleading in their engagement with those of us who have sought over a period of time to work constructively with the Trust to ensure Daisy Hill Hospital continues to meet the health needs of the community in the area. This is deeply concerning and undermines public confidence in the Trust.
“This also undermines the recent positive developments secured for the Hospital, including the elective surgical hub, which would help tackle waiting lists.
“These failures have also generated more negative PR around the Hospital which will make it more difficult to recruit staff to replace those lost by the Trust.
South Down MLA Sinead Ennis added:
“Communities in the Mournes and across South Down rely on Daisy Hill as their closest acute Hospital for stroke treatment and other emergency treatments.
“Sinn Féin is committed to protecting Daisy Hill and we are ready to work with everyone to achieve this.
“We need an Executive formed now so that all parties can come together with locally elected ministers to begin to tackle the crises facing our Health Service.”