Daisy Hill Hospital Expert Panel established27th July 2023
A new group is being established to work with the Southern Health Trust to implement the ongoing stabilisation plans for acute inpatient medical services at Daisy Hill Hospital, and to support the development of a longer term plan for the future of the Newry Hospital.
The stabilisation plans, which were agreed at the Trust’s June Board meeting in response to challenges with senior medical cover, focus on immediately stabilising services at the hospital for the summer months.
The Daisy Hill Hospital Expert Panel will start its work in August and will be independently Chaired by Mairead McAlinden. Mairead has worked in health and social care services in Northern Ireland since 1982 before taking up post as Chief Executive in Torbay & South Devon Foundation Trust from 2015 to 2018 and was a member of the Bengoa Expert Panel. She now works as an Independent Healthcare Advisor.
Membership of the Expert Panel will include independent professional and clinical advisors, involvement advisor, regional partners, senior Trust clinicians and management as well as Trade Union representatives.
The Expert Panel will engage with Trust staff and other key stakeholder groups with an interest in services at Daisy Hill Hospital and the Newry, Mourne and South Armagh areas.
They will make recommendations for consideration by the Trust Senior Leadership Team and contribute to the medium to long-term plans for Daisy Hill Hospital as part of the Department of Health’s wider Review of Local Hospitals.
Southern Trust Chief Executive Dr Maria O’Kane said: “Since our June Trust Board meeting, staff have been working tirelessly on the implementation of our stabilisation plans and our patients and visitors are already seeing changes as we relocate some departments within the hospital.
“The aim has been to find a sustainable way forward for the hospital, patients and staff. Ensuring patient safety and supporting our staff have been our priorities.
“We greatly welcome the strength of public support for staff and services at Daisy Hill and thank all of our local stakeholders for their continued interest in improving services.
“We are delighted to welcome Mairead to lead this vital strategic project. The Daisy Hill Expert Panel will bring together a wealth of local health and social care knowledge and experience. We look forward to working with them to find solutions to the ongoing pressures that we face right across health and social care and to secure the longer term vision for Daisy Hill as a key part of the regional acute hospital network.”