UNISON Northern Ireland

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council rally to show support for Daisy Hill Hospital

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council will tomorrow (Saturday 13th May 2017) hold a rally calling on all citizens of the area to give their support to Daisy Hill and oppose any closure to the Emergency Department at the hospital.  Catherine Farrell, UNISON Newry and Mourne Branch Secretary, will address the rally on behalf of trade unions at Daisy Hill Hospital and is expected to say:


‘‘Chair of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and all here assembled, my name is Catherine Farrell.  I am a UNISON trade union representative in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust and a proud member of staff in Daisy Hill Hospital where I have worked now for over 40 years.  I’m also proud to say that my family and I, like everyone else gathered here today, has used and continues to use Daisy Hill Hospital as a vital service in this community. 


During my forty years at the hospital, there have been many situations which have put Daisy Hill and its services at risk; but the one constant across all the campaigns which have been mobilised to protect the services there, including this latest threat to reduce the emergency department services, has been the determination of our community that Daisy Hill will continue to provide 24/7 care across all its services, including the care provided within our emergency department. 


People should not be fooled by the idea that the push to downgrade the A and E department at Daisy Hill is part of some overall grand plan to transform the health service and make it better.  This has happened because of poor planning and the public should never pay the price for that.  This community has a right not to have major changes to its hospital forced upon it.  The trade unions that I am a representative of are not against the right kind of reform of the health service, undertaken in genuine partnership with the local community and the workforce – but what we will not accept are any attempts to simply cut services and harm the health of the local community and the livelihoods of our members.  The Trust and the wider health service need to get the message that shutting local people out of the decisions that are made about their services is wrong and will always be strongly opposed.


I can give you thousands of reasons why our emergency department should remain a 24/7 service and that is every patient who due to accident or illness has had to seek care in Daisy Hill emergency department – care delivered by a highly skilled, trained and dedicated workforce who work tirelessly providing care that day and daily makes the difference between life and death. 


It is vital therefore that all of us from the very young to the very old and everything in between, across our large geographical spread, receive appropriate care at the point of need and that none of us should be placed in the position where we say about a loved one that if they had gotten emergency medical care earlier, then things might have been different.


I am a proud trade unionist and I am a proud member of staff in Daisy Hill - but more importantly I am an even prouder member of this community.  This community is saying loud and clear that the reduction of emergency department services in Daisy Hill is a definite no go.  I can assure you all  that anything my own union, UNISON, and that of my sister unions can do to ensure the continued delivery of a 24/7 emergency service at Daisy Hill will be done. 


Our support to this campaign we pledge.


Thank you’’