independent

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Questions remain over MAU closure

Unit closed on 'frequent basis' but campaigners in Newry help secure ED

Anne Campbell

Questions about why the Medical Assessment Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda is closed on a frequent basis have been raised with Health Minister Simon Harris, while hospital campaigners in Newry are happy this week after confirmation was received that emergency services at Daisy Hill Hospital will not be cut.

Louth TD Imelda Munster said: 'We are stuck in the crazy situation where senior management at the hospital are closing the MAU regularly and sending patients back to the Emergency Department because they say the hospital is very busy. I contacted the HSE by email four times over four days last week and they failed to respond. This raises even more questions, including the fact that the HSE are charged with delivery of our public health service and yet they appear to be a law unto themselves and chose to ignore queries from elected public representatives.

'Is it because they do not want the public to know the serious levels of mismanagement within our hospitals? The Minister needs to hold the HSE to account, as to why they opened a Medical Assessment Unit at Our Lady of Lourdes due to the Emergency Department being so busy, and yet they regularly close it down because it is so busy and so they send patients back to the overcrowded and under staffed ED'.

Meanwhile, her party colleague, Gerry Adams has welcomed confirmation from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust that there will be no reduction in the ED in Newry.

He said: 'While I welcome this news I will be monitoring developments to ensure the permanent retention of all services, including 24 hour emergency department cover. I applaud the members of the community who challenged the Trust's plans for temporary overnight closures. Full retention of all healthcare services at Daisy Hill is vital, primarily for citizens living in the Armagh, Newry and South Down areas, but also for people from North Louth and parts of Monaghan'.

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