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'It's D-Day for Navan A&E' crowd told, as thousands attend protest

A protest is taking place in Navan about HSE plans to close the hospital’s ED and replace it with a 24-hour medical assessment and injury unit.

Protestors at this afternoon's rally. Credit: Laois Businesses Twitter
Protestors at this afternoon's rally. Credit: Laois Businesses Twitter

AONTÚ LEADER AND Chair of the Save Navan Hospital Campaign, Peadar Toíbín, says today is “D-Day for Navan A&E”.

Thousands took part in a protest in Navan this afternoon about HSE plans to close the hospital’s Emergency Department and replace it with a 24-hour medical assessment and injury unit.

Speaking at this afternoon’s protest, Deputy Tóibín said he wanted to “send a strong message” that “we don’t trust the HSE”.

He also thanked consultants in Drogheda Hospital who recently signed a letter that said the “transfer of risk from an unsafe ED in Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan to an under-resourced Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda will lead to poorer clinical outcomes for patients”.

The consultants’ letter added that a lack of planning and resourcing is a “recipe for poor patient outcomes and investment in essential critical services must be prioritised now”.

Deputy Toíbín told the protest that the proposed changes would result in “up to 47 extra patients waiting in Drogheda from Navan every day” and that it would “simply shift the risk to Drogheda”.

Fianna Fáil Senator Shane Cassells also addressed the rally, while Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson David Cullinane was also in attendance. 

However, in a statement to The Journal, a spokesperson from the HSE said it has “planned for and is putting in place the extra resources required to ensure a safe transition”.

The statement added that “this change is supported by HSE national clinical leadership, clinicians at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan, and Meath Faculty of GPs”.

It further adds that “the reconfiguration is about ensuring that patients who are unstable or seriously ill are directed to the right hospital for their needs”.

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The spokesperson said the HSE “understands the concerns of the local community and public representatives”, but that the HSE is “working to address those concerns” and that “extra resources will be provided at Drogheda to support this reconfiguration”.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the proposed change shouldn’t be described as a “downgrade” and that investment will continue in Navan Hospital. 

However, speaking to RTE, he said there “needs to be proper consultation with the local community and healthcare professionals in Drogheda and Navan”. 

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Patrick Coleman

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