Hospital group launch Watch It campaign

THE Save Our Hospital Services committee have made an appeal to members of the public to inform them of the poor conditions in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in order to support their bid for the restoration of services in the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk.

THE Save Our Hospital Services committee have made an appeal to members of the public to inform them of the poor conditions in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda in order to support their bid for the restoration of services in the Louth County Hospital in Dundalk.

In order to interact with the public, the committee have set up an anonymous A&E Watch Number - 087 3570512 – and plan to follow it up with Facebook and Twitter pages in the coming weeks.

The group hope to use the information provided by the public as part of their bid for the restoration of services at the Louth County Hospital.

They are currently hoping to organise a meeting with new Minister for Health Dr James Reilly to discuss the matter.

Speaking at a press conference on the matter on Thursday, former Louth TD Arthur Morgan said: “This is a new government with a fresh mandate who proclaimed that they had a significant interest in the healthcare of the state.

“We’ve now written to each of the local TDs, with the exception of the Fianna Fáil one, to ask them to support our case to restore services in the Louth.

“The purpose of the move is to try and ensure the return of critical services to the Louth because we are continually gettint reports from members of the public about the crisis in the service at the A&E in Drogheda.

“What’s happening there at the moment is not fair on patients or staff and it is extremely important we impress upon the new government the seriousness of this situation.

“To do that we’re launching a new campaign called Watch It where we will be asking the public to get in touch with stories and accounts of what service they are getting or not getting in the Lourdes as a result of the huge overcrowding.”

Long-time hospital campaigner said she had been in the Lourdes from 10.30am that morning and was still waiting to have a baby seen to when she left at 2.30pm to attend the meeting with the press. She said there were at least 12 children waiting to be seen to and that the heat was “unbelievable.”

Cllr Tomás Sharkey said that the idea of the Watch It campaign was to “widen awareness of the issue.”

He said the “new crisis” was not how long people were waiting to be seen but how long it took to get into the emergency department in the first place.

Cllr Sharkey said that Pat Markey, one of the last patients to leave the wards at the Louth Hospital, had taken a re-stroke on the Monday and was still on a trolley as of Thursday morning.

Arthur Morgan said the Watch It campaign was “the beginning of the reigniting of the campaign.”

He said: “There was an old slogan from the past government that you can’t have a hospital on every crossroads but no one is looking for that. All we’re looking for is a proper A&E in Dundalk to cater for around 100,000 people in this area.

“That’s some crossroads,” he laughed.