UPPER Bann MP David Simpson has raised recent press reports of unfilled consultant posts in the Southern Health Trust with senior Trust representatives.
Speaking after it was reported that 19 consultant posts were unfilled within the Southern Trust region, Mr Simpson said, “I have already been in ongoing contact with the Southern Trust on a number of occasions over the course of this week regarding the number of unfilled consultant posts that were highlighted in the recent vacancy survey.
“My primary concerns as Member of Parliament for the area is the health and care of patients and the wellbeing of very dedicated and highly professional staff who do such a remarkable job in what are often very trying conditions.
“It is undoubtedly the case that there was a significant spike in emergency admissions right across Northern Ireland during the month of February. This placed a considerable additional strain on staff and resources.
“At this point the Southern Trust has managed that extra pressure and strain very effectively. We can never afford to be complacent and there can be no let up in day to day vigilance.
“But I can say that when it comes to these reported vacant posts none of them are in Emergency Departments across the Southern Trust and that 14 of the 19 reported vacancies have since been filled. Some other posts have become vacant since this survey was carried out and recruitment processes are in place to fill them.”
“I want to pay tribute to the staff in all departments, right across the Southern Trust, who work so hard to deliver such outstanding levels of care to patients and their families day in and day out.
“At some point in all of our lives we will need the care provided so routinely by at every site across the Southern Trust including both Craigavon and Daisy Hill hospitals. They deserve our support and thanks”