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Covid probe at Daisy Hill

16 September 2020

A Newry and Armagh MLA has asked Health Minister Robin Swann to widen an independent investigation into Covid outbreaks at Craigavon Area Hospital to Daisy Hill.

Justin McNulty claimed there have been further positive cases in the Newry hospital over the weekend after two consultants based in Daisy Hill tested positive late last week.  

The SDLP MLA further claimed that a lack of communication with staff and patients from management within the hospital has been raised as a ‘major issue of concern’.

“Staff and patients are raising very valid concerns about an apparent growing number of Covid cases within the workforce and patients,” said Mr McNulty. 

“Communication or lack thereof with staff and patients has been raised as a major issue of concern.  

“The Trust maintain that they have no obligation to test staff or patients who have come into contact with someone who tested positive for Covid if that person was wearing PPE.  

“This rationale does not stand up to scrutiny and has been contradicted in other areas.

“I am also aware of more positive tests within the hospital over the weekend. I am very concerned. We cannot allow this to get out of control. I fear the Trust are not learning the lessons of outbreaks in Craigavon Area Hospital.

“We need assurances, we need to get things right and patients and staff both need to feel safe and secure.

“I believe we now need RQIA to widen its scope from Craigavon Area Hospital to include Daisy Hill. This is not a call I make lightly, but I believe it is the right thing to do.”

Mr McNulty wrote to the Health Minister on Tuesday morning about the matter.

Trust CEO Shane Devlin (pictured), speaking on Monday, told the Newry Reporter that there had been no new cases involving staff.

On Tuesday, the Trust press office told the paper it does not comment on patients or staff cases and that the situation is continually changing.   

The Reporter understands an internal investigation in the hospital is underway. 

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