The worst fears of the thousands of people who have attended the Save Navan Hospital rallies appear to have been confirmed. News breaking on LMFM radio this morning that health minister Stephen Donnelly has agreed ambulances carrying patients who are critically or seriously unwell or likely to deteriorate should bypass Navan’s emergency department as and from December 12th.
At the moment bypass protocols are already in place for paediatric, obstetric, major trauma, heart attack and stroke patients, but the latest move will be regarded as a step closer to the full closure of Navan A&E.
In a detailed statement to the radio station the HSE said, ‘The HSE would like to clarify a number of important points in relation to the letter issued by hospital management to staff at OLHN on November 29th.
‘The HSE has not received agreement from the Minister for Health to proceed with the reconfiguration of the Emergency Department at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan (OLHN), or to a full ambulance bypass protocol.
‘The HSE has submitted a review of capacity to the Minister, as requested. This review remains under consideration by the Minister and his government colleagues.
‘The Minister has agreed with an update of the existing ambulance bypass protocols from 12th December to address urgent patient safety matters for the small number of patients presenting in ambulances to Navan who are critically or seriously unwell or likely to deteriorate.
‘Ambulance bypass protocols are already in place for paediatric, obstetric, major trauma, heart attack and stroke patients.’
Speaking in the Seanad Navan based FF Senator Shane Cassells slammed the decision, saying, ‘Two thousand people a year go through those doors, as a result of this decision ninety per cent of them will now not be going to Navan, how do you send two thousand people to an already capacity A&E in Drogheda.
‘They’ll be in trolleys in the car park!’
Local councillor Tommy Reilly blasted the decision as ‘A total and utter disgrace it is a case of death by a thousand cuts.’