Decision not to restore A&E and Emergency Department at Downe Hospital a `major slap in the face' for community

Sinn Fein MP Chris Hazzard said a decision to replace the Emergency Department and A&E at the Downe Hospital with a Minor Injuries Unit is a "major slap in the face" for the local community. Picture by Liam McBurney/PA Wire
Marie Louise McConville

A DECISION to replace accident and emergency services at the Downe Hospital with a minor injuries unit, has been described as a "major slap in the face" for the community.

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard met with South Eastern Trust (SEHSCT) management on Thursday, where it was revealed that only a minor injuries unit would be restored at the Downe in August.

The South Down MP said he had written to Health Minister Robin Swann to "alert him to this controversial development" and to "question why such fundamental restructuring of services can take place without any public consultation; and to state quite clearly that there is total opposition to these plans in the local community".

He said Sinn Féin would also be "tabling an Emergency Motion at Newry, Mourne and Down council on Monday adding that he hoped "all political parties can work in partnership with the public in ensuring the restoration of the Emergency Department and A&E to the Downe Hospital".

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