Local TD Denis Naughten has welcomed the row back by management of the Galway/Roscommon University Hospitals Group on its activity targets for the urgent care centre and medical assessment unit at Roscommon County Hospital.
“Last week I disclosed the fact that inadequate provision had been made by the management of the hospital group for increased numbers to be treated at Roscommon’s Urgent Care Centre and Medical Assessment Unit,” stated Denis Naughten.
“On foot of this, and follow up meetings with Bill Maher, CEO, and Tony Canavan, Director of Operations, Galway/Roscommon University Hospitals Group, it has now been confirmed to me that it is the intention of hospital management to try to maximise the use of both facilities in 2012.”
In a written response following discussions with Denis Naughten, Mr. Canavan said: “I acknowledge the interpretation that could be attached to our activity targets in respect of the UCC in Roscommon County Hospital. You will be aware that in 6 months of activity in 2011 we had 2655 attendances at our UCC. It is reasonable to expect that we will have at least twice this amount for a full year of activity in 2012. Indeed we would be hopeful that activity levels will exceed this with the development of services at the hospital and as people become more aware of what the UCC can offer to them. I acknowledge that the target we set of 4000 for the UCC is conservative and we would be hopeful of exceeding this target considerably”.
“Having discussed the matter with Mr. Canavan, who as Director of Operations sets the activity targets for each of the hospitals in the group, I am glad that
these figures have been revised to reflect the situation on the ground and the intention to see the existing services at Roscommon Hospital promoted,” added Denis Naughten.
“I am however surprised that the discrepancy in the plans for Roscommon’s urgent treatment services was not brought to the attention of senior management prior to me raising the issue.
“That said, it is now important that the existing services at Roscommon urgent care centre and medical assessment unit are promoted to ensure that as many people as possible avoid having to wait for hours to see a doctor in the other A&E departments in the region.”
The Urgent Care Centre is doctor delivered and treats adults and children over the age of five who present with non-emergency conditions such as sprains and strains, minor burns and scalds, wounds, bites, cuts and grazes. The centre operates between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., seven days a week.
The Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) operates daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday with access to same day diagnostics. Patients are admitted via their GP.
Denis Naughten continued: “I have also highlighted to management the need to not only promote existing services but also to enhance these services by addressing problems with accessing the medical assessment unit and upgrading the x-ray system, which would allow a consultant in Galway to make a diagnosis on a patient being treated in Roscommon.
“The management team has also further committed to update me on a regular basis on the activity levels at the urgent care centre in Roscommon and the emergency department at Portiuncula, and it is my intention to see services enhanced rather than reduced at a hospital which has the potential do much more than it is currently being allowed to do,” concluded Denis Naughten.