Campaign to have Downe A&E restored to 24-hour

Downe Hospital
Downe Hospital

An appeal to have 24-hour A&E cover restored to the Downe Hospital will be heard on the floor of the Assembly on Tuesday.

The unit’s opening hours were cut last week in a move sparked by a claimed shortage of appropriate medical staff.

South Down SDLP MLA Sean Rogers said the downgrading was unacceptable and will introduce Tuesday’s debate in the hope of eventually having a round-the-clock service reinstated.

“We have been told that the sole reason for this is a shortage in middle grade doctors. However, I remain deeply concerned at this turn of events,” he said.

Meanwhile, the SDLP’s Fearghal McKinney met with Belfast Trust chief Colm Donaghy yesterday over public concerns about the A&E crisis at Belfast RVH on Wednesday.