A NI hospital is to receive a £1.6m investment package in a bid to boost emergency care and improve its facilities.
The Department of Health has announced it will inject £650,000 into Daisy Hill Hospital’s emergency department (ED) this year.
The investment will modernise services for patient assessment, diagnostics and discharge, strengthen the workforce, and will see the appointment of a new hospital director.
The Newry hospital will also be allocated £1m from the Southern Trust, to improve infrastructure at the site.
This will establish a new admissions and assessment unit, alongside the ED.
The investment will provide lifeline for emergency services at Daisy Hill, after the Southern Trust last year highlighted difficulties in maintaining the ED service at the Co Down hospital, due to difficulties in staffing a viable consultant rota.
This led to the establishment of the Daisy Hill Hospital Pathfinder Group to engage with the local workforce and community to develop a response to the situation.
The Pathfinder Group’s work has led to the investment package confirmed today.
Department of Health Permanent Secretary Richard Pengelly said: “Co-production is much more than just a buzzword in health and social care.
“It means working step by step with those who deliver and use services to build for the future by sharing the evidence about how best to meet the healthcare needs of local populations and taking the right decisions for the right reasons.
“Today’s Daisy Hill Hospital announcement shows co-production in action – and delivering for everyone.”
Southern Trust chief executive Shane Devlin said: “This is the first stage of a viable long-term plan.
“All of us involved in the Pathfinder process wanted the same thing – a service that would be sustainable for years to come.
“We have developed a model for services that reflects what the local community needs – and the support of the Department of Health shows their confidence in this ground-breaking process.”