Thursday, 28 September 2017
Department of Health
156. To ask the Minister for Health the action he has taken to deal with inadequate protocols in place at St. Columcille's Hospital in Loughlinstown in cases in which persons attend the minor injuries unit without a general practitioner referral letter; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [41028/17]
The Ireland East Hospital Group has confirmed that GP referral letters became a part of the St Columcille's Hospital Operational Policy for the Medical Assessment Unit, in November 2016.
The protocol is in line with the operation of a Medical Assessment Unit in a Level 2 Hospital as outlined in the Acute Medicine Clinical Care Programme. The Medical Assessment Unit at St Columcille’s Hospital accepts GP referred patients and transfers of patients from St. Vincent’s University Hospital as per an agreed patient pathway.
The protocol is that when a person presents to the Medical Assessment Unit without a GP referral letter they are advised of the need for a letter in order to be seen. If however, they state they are unwell or indeed look unwell and are not happy to attend their GP or another healthcare facility the protocol is that they will be reviewed by the Triage Nurse on duty at the hospital and a decision made regarding their most appropriate management. This may include being seen by the Medical Assessment Unit doctor or an emergency transfer to another healthcare provider with an Emergency Department on site. On occasion the person will be treated in St. Columcille’s Hospital if appropriate.