Concerns Roscommon Emergency Dept will close

Tuesday 28 June 2011 22.58
Roscommon County Hospital - Dept may be replaced by minor injuries unit
Roscommon County Hospital - Dept may be replaced by minor injuries unit

The Roscommon Hospital Action Group has expressed concern that the hospital's emergency department is to close completely from 11 July and may be replaced by a local injuries unit.

In the Dáil today, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said he would not stand over a situation in which patient safety is at risk.

This evening, the Health Service Executive said that no final decision had been made with regard to the emergency department.

There is major confusion about the future of emergency department services at the hospital.

Yesterday, the Taoiseach met around 100 protesters in Roscommon, who expressed concern about the future of the hospital.

Mr Kenny said that the emergency department facilities would no longer operate on a 24-hour basis.

In the Dáil this afternoon, the Taoiseach said it was not the Government's wish to close any emergency department.

The HSE's plan for the hospital also proposes that it will stop performing acute and planned inpatient surgery.

Local campaigners have expressed concern that major acute services, including coronary care, will also be withdrawn and that bed capacity is to be significantly reduced.

However, the HSE says the shortage of junior doctors and HIQA's concerns regarding patient safety mean there will be changes to how services are being delivered at the hospital.

Separately, a Labour Senator has claimed that Independent TD Luke 'Ming' Flanagan told a Department of Health official 'to go and get a rope and commit suicide' during a meeting last week.

Speaking in the Seanad, John Kelly said the meeting was called to discuss cuts in the Emergency Department at Roscommon hospital.

Senator Kelly said Deputy Flanagan 'got into a rant' about how the health service was being run and then made the suicide comments to a 'senior' official.

The senator said the TD should withdraw the remarks.

Seanad Cathaoirleach Paddy Burke ruled the senator's remarks out of order.