The Louth County Hospital
Sinn Fein TD for Louth Gerry Adams has condemned the HSE following confirmation that commitments to expand the services provided by the Minor Injuries Unit at Louth County Hospital Dundalk are now in jeopardy.
The Louth TD, who says he is 'gravely concerned' over the matter said: “Simon Harris came to Dundalk in November 2017 and announced that by February 2018 the Minor Injuries Unit at the Louth Hospital would begin seeing additional paediatric patients by reducing the current age threshold of 14 years old to 5 years old.
“In January I submitted a parliamentary question regarding the progress of this development and in response the RCSI Hospital Group, which runs health facilities in Louth, Meath and North Dublin, said: ‘It is envisaged that the Local Injuries Unit at the Louth County Hospital will be in a position to start seeing patients over five years of age with minor injuries in Quarter 2 2018. This change in practice remains dependent on staffing and appropriate staff mix’".
Mr Adams added: “I submitted a further parliamentary question this month and the RCSI Hospital Group now tell me that the agreed start time for this service will be delayed due to ‘unanticipated resignations.’
“Furthermore the response goes on to state that ‘while the Louth Hospitals continue to endeavour to recruit the compliment of staff that is required to establish a safe level of service, they are not in a position to provide an updated time frame at this time.’
“From these responses it is clear to me that there is a real threat that this expanded service for those over 5 years old may never become operational. I am shocked that the Minister for Health would make such a grand announcement without any of the necessary ground work being complete.
“I have asked the Minister for Health what recruitment campaign has been undertaken to ensure that the staff are in place to operate this service and I urge him to honour the commitments he has made to Dundalk.
“My colleague councillor Anne Campbell will also be raising this matter at the next meeting of the Dublin North East Regional Health Forum, at which representatives of the RCSI Hospital Group will be present.”
In a social media post Councillor Anne Campbell said she vowed that she would continue working on the issue until "we have what we were promised - the age for treatment at the Minor Injuries Unit at the Louth Hospital to be reduced to 5 years".