HSE Forum for Dublin and Northeast

Meeting at Dublin Road, Kells on 25th January 2010.

The highlight was the Presentation by Dr Colm Quigley on the reconfiguration of Hospital Services in the Northeast dealing in particular with Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda, The Louth Hospital in Dundalk, Cavan Hospital and Monaghan. The compelling reasons for the changed role of these hospitals was detailed and the quality and impact of Dr Quigley’s contribution was such that he received an ovation on completion.

Dr Dominic O’Brannagain of Drogheda also spoke and when questioned by councillors gave very detailed and complete answers to queries which were of such clarity that no one listening could have doubted either his competence or sincerity.

Dr James Hayes of Cavan General Hospital spoke about the A&E in Cavan , the
6 beds Medical Admissions Unit, 6 beds medical observation unit, 6 bed admission bay and a patients lounge. The availability of CT and MRI imaging was also flagged. He confirmed that there were no bed blockers in Cavan in sharp contrast to Beaumont where there are 170 which is the equivalent of half a Lourdes hospital blocked. Monaghan had 80% bed occupancy so was not being phased out.

The questions were vigorously put to the presenters and to Mr Stephen Mulvany who as Regional director of Operations fielded the details on the ambulance service.

Councillors Brian KcKenna (SF), David Maxwell (FG) and Com Markey (FG) provided anecdotal evidence of transportation difficulties for patients in rural areas accessing the hospitals and this subject will be formally discussed seeking resolution probably in March.

There was a discussion on ENT services at Dundalk and Monaghan which operate independently and the service at Monaghan is due to be expanded.

The future role of Cavan Hospital exercised Gerry Murray (FF). The totality of contributions could be summarised thus

(1) What services are currently provided at each hospital?
(2) What is the waiting time for access?
(3) How do these services match previous promises made by the HSE to the
public in the region?

In Drogheda, there was only 1 patient per week with ST elevation Myocardial Infarction requiring angioplasty and stents which should be done within 3 hours and this is achievable with access to the Mater in Dublin. 10 others had been sent after failure of thrombolysis to the Mater in the past year.
This means that there is insufficient demand to have round-the-clock primary angioplasty at Drogheda. Drogheda is being beefed up to three cardiologists.

Councillors May McKeon, Gerry Murray, David Maxwell, Brian McKenna, Ann Dillon Gallagher, Paddy O’Reilly, Com Markey, Michael O’Dowd, Tommy Byrne, William Carey, Robbie Gallagher, Anthony Donoghue all spoke as is Bill Tormey from the chair.

The need for easy access laboratory and imaging services were emphasised by Bill Tormey

There was a brisk discussion about ambulances and patient transport and the service promised in relation to advanced paramedics and thrombolysis has been delivered. Stephen Mulvany listed the promises and the actualite.

The role of the various out-of-hours primary care facilities was a concern and a few inadequacies were outlined by councillors. The wastefulness of house calls in rural areas where there is a triage and ambulance service was discussed and it was agreed that the service details would be revisited in detail at a near future meeting to insure the best outcome for patients and constituents.

This was the most productive meeting of the Forum to date ( in my opinion)

Caption for Pictures – Mr David Gaskin, Health Manager Meath, Mr Ray Mitchell, Director Regional Health Office, Dr Bill Tormey Chairman, Mr Stephen Mulvany, Regional Director of Operations, Integrated Services Directorate.

Click to download Presentation on Hospital Reconfiguration