By Eoin Ryan
A review process on the reconfiguration plan on Navan’s Our Lady Hospital is currently being conducted by the HSE.
The objectives of this review are to review and assess the reconfiguration plan for Our Lady’s Hospital Navan including any capacity issues that may arise.
The process is expected to be completed within a few weeks and a “working group will oversee a process to review and assess the reconfiguration planning done to date, while addressing any additional requirements including identifying the additional capacity which should be in place ahead of any reconfiguration,” according to a HSE statement.
Included in the review process will be a ‘confirmation’ there is sufficient staffing at hospital and primary care level, including GP out of hours services for the Medical Assessment Unit, according to the HSE. It will also suggest any recommendations on additional capacity in terms of ambulances and other services where needed.
A statement by HSE regarding the review says The National Working Group in charge of reconfiguration will be The National Clinical Lead for Acute Hospitals Dr Mike O’Connor and the National Director for Acute Operations Liam Woods.
The working group is made up of 18 members including Dr Gerry McEntee, clinical director, Our Lady’s Hospital, and local GP, Dr Seamus McMenamin, chairperson of North East Doctor on Call.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly requested a review by the HSE prior to the reconfiguration of Navan’s Emergency Department (ED) to a Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) and the transfer of ICU capacity to Drogheda hospital.
Johnny Guirke said this is the “final curtain call on the closure of Navan A&E,” and “We have seen nothing in this press release to commit to keeping our A&E open.”
“It will take a spectacular challenge by the HSE to deliver more bed capacity and more staff for our hospital and ambulance services while trying to address long waiting times,” Guirke continued.
TD Peadar Toibin said that “Starting a review three weeks before the terms of reference has been finalised is faulty and backwards.”
“For those of us with experience of the HSE on this issue, this has all the hallmarks of window dressing,” Toibin continued.