Save Navan Hospital Campaign Chair Peadar Tóibín TD has been asked by the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to meet with the Minister and senior HSE staff in relation to the future of Navan Hospital. It comes as the HSE board called for the closure of Navan A&E “without undue delay”
Speaking in advance of that meeting Peadar Tóibín said;
“This is the biggest threat yet to our A&E. Its clear that the government seek to move now on its closure. I am calling on all the elected reps in County Meath to stop this. I believe that it would be treacherous for any TD in teh county to allow this to happen. We in the Save Navan Hospital Campaign will fight this tooth and nail”.
“The A&E is the most important piece of Infrastructure in the county. It has been the difference between life and death for so many people in Meath. In 2013 our A&E was included in the HIQA hit list of A&Es the government sought to close. All the others were closed on that list. Our A&E is the last one standing of those targeted by the government”.
“However, it is still written within the Smaller Hospital Framework Doc that our A&E must close. This is government policy and it the HSE are seeking implement government policy. Just before Covid the government sought to close the A&E again however due to the pressure on hospitals it remained open”.
“Then again last September the government made another effort to close it. We in the Save Navan Hospital Campaign took 10,000 people onto the streets of Navan which forced the government to “pause” the closure. Luckily, as another wave of Covid kicked off soon after leading to pressure on hospital and ICU beds”.
“The background to all of this is people are often waiting 11 hours in the A&E in Drogheda hospital to be seen. Staff in Connolly Hospital were out on protest at conditions and pressure in their A&E a number of months ago. Hundreds of people on trollies every day. ICU beds are still as rare as hens teeth. There are one million people on hospital waiting lists throughout the state and Covid is still in circulation. It is shocking that the HSE and the government would seek to close an A&E and ICU in this circumstance”.
“The HSE argument is that there is safety issues in relation to our A&E. Firstly any safety concerns would be fixed if the HSE invested in the necessary Consultant cover. Secondly I have spoken to senior medical clinicians in the RCSI group and they have said that it would be a threat to health and life if Navan A&E closes. They have said that neither Connolly nor Drogheda can take tens of thousands of extra patients”.
“Thirdly I have researched the number of “adverse incidents” that are happening in each hospital group. Incredibly there were 107,000 adverse incidents on all our hospitals last year. This is shocking and it’s a massive increase from 5 years ago. But the HSE wants to close our A&E and push our patients to the RCSI group which had the highest increase in the number of adverse incidents of any group over the last 5 years. They want to push us into a hospital group that’s doing far worse in terms of protecting patients”.
“I want the HSE to hear us loud and clear. We in the Save Navan Hospital Campaign will not allow the HSE close out A&E. We will fight this tooth and nail. Also, Meath TDs have a responsibility to stand up for this key piece of health infrastructure. I believe it would be treacherous for anyone elected by the people of Meath to stand over the closure of our A&E”.