Local TD Denis Naughten has called on the HSE and Minister for Health to allow ambulances to transport non-urgent patients to Roscommon University Hospital’s urgent care centre to help ease overcrowding in Emergency Departments across the region.
“Protocol has already been agreed between the National Ambulance Service and the HSE to transfer patients to Ennis General Hospital from next Monday to help ease pressure on the emergency department at University Hospital Limerick and there is no reason why an appropriate protocol cannot be put in place for Roscommon Hospital,” stated Denis Naughten.
The Medical Assessment Unit at Roscommon Hospital can treat chest pain (suspected heart attack), suspected stroke, respiratory (breathing) conditions, fever, seizures and headaches, and suspected illnesses such as pneumonia or chest infections.
“There are many patients lying on trolleys for hours in hospitals across our region with similar medical issues, while there is available capacity at Roscommon Hospital,” added Denis Naughten.
“There has been significant investment in facilities and staffing at Roscommon Hospital and it is now imperative that these staff are made available to help cope with the crisis across our hospital system.
“The urgent care centre and medical assessment unit at Roscommon Hospital provide rapid assessment, diagnosis and early treatment based on patients’ needs, and can provide more appropriate and timely care for medically ill patients. Is this not far better for the patient than sitting on a chair for a weekend in A&E?
“On Friday morning last there were 22 patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital, 18 on trolleys at Portiuncula University Hospital, and a whopping 34 at Sligo University Hospital, the three hospitals which would benefit most is ambulances could bring non-urgent cases to Roscommon University Hospital”.
“The proper use of Roscommon Hospital takes additional pressure off the other local Emergency Departments and ensures patients who are not a medical emergency can get timely care in Roscommon,” says Denis Naughten.
Correspondence has now been issued to all National Ambulance Service staff in the Mid-West, that from next Monday 112/999 patients can be transported directly to the Medical Assessment Unit in Ennis Hospital providing: the patient meets the agreed clinical criteria; the patient has been accepted by the MAU physician in Ennis.
“We now need to see a similar protocol issued with regard to Roscommon Hospital,” concluded Denis Naughten.