Downe Urgent and Emergency Care Services

29th July 2020

In preparation for the significant challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust had to reshape its hospitals and other services on a temporary basis. This has been in order to maximise our ability to manage the surge in demand for services due to Covid-19.

The Trust is working to rebuild health and social care services in accordance with the Department of Health’s ‘Strategic Framework for Rebuilding Health and Social Care services’. As we do this, our absolute priority remains keeping our patients, service users and staff safe.

As part of the progression of plans for rebuilding urgent and emergency care services, a Minor Injuries service will open at the Downe Hospital from 10th August 2020. The Minor Injuries Unit will be open 7 days a week from 9am – 5pm, by an appointment only basis. The telephone number for Downe Hospital Minor Injuries Service is 028 4483 8091. Those contacting the service will be given an appointment as appropriate. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust has always stated its commitment to the re-opening of the Downe Hospital Emergency Department. The Trust indicated that we would advise of a date for re-opening by the end of July 2020. The planned date for re-opening Downe Hospital Emergency Department is Monday 19th October 2020.

The opening hours of the Downe Emergency Department will remain as Monday – Friday from 8am-8pm. The Minor Injuries and GP Out of Hours services shall continue to be available as normal.
The Trust is continuing to manage Covid-19 and therefore all plans remain subject to a number of critical factors. These include workforce availability, adequate supplies of Personal and Protective Equipment (PPE), the potential impact of further surges of Covid-19 and managing safety and risk for our patients, service users and staff.

The Trust is concerned about the circulation of information which may be inaccurate and misleading to the local community. We would again like to assure the community that the Trust remains committed to the Downe Hospital, which continues to play a vital role in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Trust would like to thank the local community for the support and appreciation offered to our dedicated staff, who continue to work tirelessly to protect and care for the health and wellbeing of our population.