Anger as Navan Hospital A&E to be shut with patients sent to Louth or Dublin instead


Plans to close the emergency department in Navan Hospital and replace it with a medical assessment unit and local injury unit are being announced by the HSE.

t means emergency patients who previously would have used the Co Meath emergency department will travel to other hospitals in Dublin and Louth instead.

The decision is finally taken to shut down the emergency unit on safety grounds after years of speculation and local opposition.

Local TD and Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín and other public representatives will be briefed in the plan by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly today.

Deputy Tóibín said the decision is “reckless”.

“HSE figures show patients in Drogheda A&E are waiting 12 hours or more for hospital admission. Staff in Connolly Hospital were out on a picket because of overcrowding conditions in their A&E a number of months ago,” he said.

He said 546 people were on trollies throughout the state on Thursday and the Mater Hospital asked people to avoid its A&E last week.

“This is in the middle of summer,” Mr Tóibín said.

“Orthopaedic treatment and elective surgery in Navan had to be suspended over the winter because of the pressure on the A&E in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan.

“This was done to free up nursing staff to cope with the overcrowding in Navan A&E. Yet the Government now want to close it. It beggars belief.

Mr Tóibín said that from 2017 to 2021 the number of adverse incidents related to mistakes in medical care nationally jumped from 79,000 to 105,000 – a 32pc increase.

“Extreme incidents, which includes death or permanent incapacity, rose from 373 in 2017 to 579 last year. Many of these are happening because under resourced staff are under so much pressure,” he said.

“The Government has refused to give me comparative data on Navan A&E but the information that they did give me shows that a closure of Navan A&E would push tens of thousands of patients from a hospital group with a low increase in adverse incidents into a hospital group with the highest increase in adverse incidents in the country.”

Mr Tóibín added: “Shockingly there has been no HIQA analysis of overcrowding in any hospital in the state published so far. The HSE is not analysing the damage that’s done by these policies.”

Mr Tóibín said senior clinicians in the RCSI group have stated that closure of Navan A&E would be dangerous and a threat to life and health.

“Closure of Navan is not just dangerous for the 210,000 people living in Meath but it will worsen overcrowding at Drogheda, Cavan and Connolly Hospitals. It will also worsen record hospital waiting lists. Over 851,700 people are waiting for treatment right now. Every time there is A&E overcrowding, work stops on patient waiting lists to deal with overcrowding and these lists then get longer.”

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