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Navan Hospital campaign group to meet tonight as Drogheda consultants push back on HSE plan

The move would downgrade Navan Hospital’s Emergency Department and divert critically ill patients elsewhere.

Image: Leah Farrell/Rollingnews.ie

A CAMPAIGN GROUP protesting the proposal to downgrade Navan Hospital’s Emergency Department is set to meet this evening as consultants in Drogheda resist the HSE’s plan to divert patients to its care.

The move would downgrade the Emergency Department at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan to a 24-medical assessment unit, which would require a GP referral to attend.

Critically ill patients would be sent instead to other hospitals, including Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda.

The Save Navan Hospital Campaign, set up to push back against the move, is holding a public meeting this evening at the Newgrange Hotel in Navan ahead of a protest on 9 July.

Meanwhile, Drogheda consultants say that the plan could risk patient safety in the absence of adequate resources at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital.

RTÉ reports that a letter, signed by 17 consultants, says that 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 told Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly that there were 66,000 presentations to the Drogheda hospital’s emergency department last year and that it is at full capacity.

They said that a lack of planning and resourcing is a “recipe for poor patient outcomes and investment in essential critical services must be prioritised now”.

Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín, chair of the campaign, said in a statement that the consultants’ message was “damning stuff”.

“The HSE management are being accused of potentially damaging patient health and of creating extreme A&E overcrowding,” he said.

“They are being accused of no consultation with those who are tasked with keeping us alive.”

He said he has “no confidence in HSE management” and that the Minister for Health should put an end to the plan.

Last week, Donnelly told the Dáil that the government was not satisfied with the plan and that he had instructed the HSE not to proceed.

However, HSE CEO Paul Reid said on Sunday that the health service would continue with the reconfiguration, which is due to begin imminently.

Reid defended the plan, saying that it was necessary for patient safety and that people in the Navan and Meath area would be at risk of poorer health outcomes without the move.

The following day, the HSE announced that Reid had decided to step down as CEO in December this year, citing that he wished to spend more time with family.

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When asked, the Taoiseach said that Reid’s resignation had no connection to the dispute over Navan Hospital.

About the author:

Lauren Boland

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