Following a very successful public meeting last Monday evening, followed by an equally successful lobby of the Trust Board meeting last Thursday it has been announced that following the Regional Summit held yesterday that the A&E 24 hour service has been retained at Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry. The pressure exerted by NIPSA, other trade unions, community organisations, together with the general public have demonstrated that when communities and trade unions come together that massive U-turns can be achieved. This is a welcome development in the campaign, however the campaign is far from over, the detail emerging from the Regional Summit will need to be studied in detail.

The Southern Health and Social Care Trust have been forced by people power to ensure the retention of a 24 hour Emergency Department at Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry. This service has been under threat for quite a while however the people of Newry and the wider community who have supported the hospital and used the hospital over the years have stood up and demanded that their hospital A&E service be retained. They have won this battle and NIPSA will continue to as part of our wider Public Service Defence Campaign – support our members and the wider communities in defending much needed public services.

This campaign, which reached out to the community, shows that when we work together we can secure vital public services. Let us take strength from this successful campaign and continue the fight for proper and well-resourced public services.

United we stand.

Alison Millar

General Secretary