Medical Assessment Units in Drogheda, Cavan and Navan

New Medical Assessment Unit Opens in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda

The new 8-bay Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda opened to patients on Thursday May 19th. Housed at the refurbished location of the former accident and emergency department, the unit replaces the hospital’s interim MAU.

Here, the MAU – a short-stay medical assessment area – will continue to allow for the rapid assessment and referral of acute medical patients, and for prompt access to diagnostics and reviews by a consultant physician. The purpose of the MAU is to provide enhanced and appropriate access for all patients presenting to hospital with medical complaints. The enhanced service at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital will also further reduce pressure on the emergency department (ED), and help to decrease patient wait times, while reducing the number of inappropriate admissions to inpatient beds.

Its state-of-the-art design will also ensure that patients can be observed at all times by the staff. This is aided by the use of technology in areas such as the waiting room. Approximately €850,000 was invested in the refurbishment of the MAU; a further €350,000 was used to equip it.

Speaking about the opening of the unit, Margaret Swords, General Manager of Louth Meath Hospital Group said, “I am delighted to see the old emergency department (ED) upgraded to a purpose designed MAU that creates a safe, comfortable and modern environment for patients to be looked after and for our staff to work in. This is another step in the process of improving facilities and processes for our patients, and I would like to acknowledge the efforts of all staff in continuing to provide services across the Louth Meath region to our patients.”

Medical Assessment Units are already operating successfully in HSE Dublin North East in Our Lady’s Hospital Navan and in Cavan General Hospital. Approximately 8,000 patients have accessed the MAU in Cavan General Hospital since it opened its doors in 2009. There, the average patient experience time is 4 hours and the discharge rate is consistent at just over 40 per cent. These statistics are evidence of the clear patient benefits of an MAU service.

Future plans for the MAU in Our Lady of Lourdes are outlined in the Acute Medicine Programme 2010. In line with these recommendations, it is anticipated the unit will change to an Acute Medical Assessment Unit (AMAU) in the coming months. The AMAU will be able to facilitate the direct referral of patients from all GPs in the area. The hours of operation of an Acute Medical Assessment Unit vary between 12 and 24 hours, seven days per week, depending on service need.

The MAU in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital operates Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm.