Crunch Meeting Over Potential Closure of Navan A&E Despite Record A&E Waiting Times

Cathaoirleach of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, Peadar Tóibín TD will meet with the Minister for Health, senior HSE Management and Health Department officials along with other elected representatives from  the county tomorrow morning to discuss the future of the A&E in Meath.

The Meath East TD said that closure of Navan Hospital would be fought ‘tooth and nail’.

“The Fianna Fail Minister for Health and the HSE provided the meeting tomorrow morning to discuss ‘reconfiguration’. Reconfiguration is a euphemism for closure of a health service. In this case the government seek to close the most important health service in Meath, our A&E. That they would consider closing our A&E at a time there is record A&E waiting times underlines the disconnect that exists between the government and the reality on the ground for tens of thousands of people”.

“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. 546 people were on trollies throughout the state on Thursday and the Mater Hospital asked people to avoid it’s A&E last week. This in the middle of summer. 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 cover the overcrowding in Navan A&E. Yet the government one they want to close it. It beggars belief.,” he said.

Mr Tóibín said that: “From 2017 to 2021 the number of adverse incidents nationally jumped from 79,000 to 105,000. That’s a 32 per cent increase in the number of people who have suffered from mistakes in clinical care. 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. 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”.

“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. 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,” he said.

“A decision to close would be reckless and dangerous and we in the Save Navan Hospital Campaign will fight it tooth and nail. We have brought over 50,000 people on to the streets of Meath in previous marches and we are putting the Government TDs are put on notice. There are no FF or FG TDs in Roscommon and this government has a majority of 1.  A small amount of investment in our A&E would make it one of the best in the country. It would contribute massively to the health care of the people of Meath and it would help reduce pressure, overcrowding, wating times and lists for patients all over the region”.

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