UNISON Northern Ireland

UNISON outlines their major concerns at a meeting with Trust Senior Management about the decision to remove some services at Daisy Hill Hospital.

On Friday 11th February, UNISON, the largest union in the Southern Trust, met with the Trust’s senior management team and outlined our members’ concerns about the recent “interim” decision to remove some emergency services from Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry.

UNISON Joint Branch Secretary, Catherine Farrell, said: “At the recent meeting with UNISON’s Head of Bargaining and Representation, Anne Speed and the Trust Management Team, we expressed our great concern in what was involved in the “interim” proposals for our members - the workforce and the need for Daisy Hill to retain it’s Category 1 status with the Major Trauma Network. UNISON has been campaigning for several years to protect and strengthen the ED at Daisy Hill – our hospital which serves the needs of our community. We stressed that our members need a clear picture of what is going on and what services are impacted.”

Nuala Conlon, UNISON Regional Organiser, who also attended the meeting stated: “Although the Trust has said this is an “interim” decision given the lack of surgeons, UNISON made the point that most of the “interim” decisions generally become permanent. At our request the Trust have agreed to produce a webinar for their staff outlining what surgery is being removed i.e. abdominal general surgery. We were told that road traffic accidents, the delivery of babies and other emergency services would continue at Daisy Hill. We await Management’s promise to better communicate with their staff, our members, over the coming week. UNISON will continue to defend the interests of our members working in Daisy Hill, protecting their jobs and continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the local community ensuring their voices are heard. The ED in Daisy Hill remains open – we will be receiving the Equality Screening from the Trust this week and will be fully involved in the public consultation which begins in June about the future of all surgery in the hospital, asking our members who live in the local community, to respond during the consultation.”