Written answers

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Department of Health

Emergency Departments Closures

Claire Kerrane (Roscommon-Galway, Sinn Fein)
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694. To ask the Minister for Health if consideration has been given to reopen the accident and emergency unit at Roscommon Hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3311/20]

Photo of Simon HarrisSimon Harris (Wicklow, Fine Gael)
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The Smaller Hospitals Framework defined the role of smaller hospitals and outlined the need for smaller hospitals and larger hospitals to operate within Hospital Groups. The Framework identified the activities that can be performed in smaller Model 2 hospitals, like Roscommon Hospital, in a safe and sustainable manner. In developing our smaller hospitals, the first and over-riding concern is the safety of patients. 

Significant progress has been made in the establishment and development of Hospital Groups over the last few years. Our hospitals are now working together and supporting each other in Groups.  This new way of working provides a stronger role for smaller hospitals, like Roscommon Hospital, in delivering a higher volume of less complex care in many cases closer to patients’ homes. It also ensures that patients who require true emergency or complex planned care are managed safely in a larger hospital environment.

Through reconfiguration and consolidation of services, demonstrably better outcomes can be achieved for patients, as has already been shown in the case of cancer treatment.

Minor Injuries Clinics and similar units provide valuable services to local communities and alleviate the pressures on Emergency Departments. The Roscommon Injuries Unit is located in the urgent care centre in Roscommon Hospital,  is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm, and can treat both adults and children aged 5 and over with non-life-threatening or limb-threatening injuries.

In recent years, the recorded number of patients attending the Roscommon Injuries Unit have continued to rise, from approximately 5,000 in 2016, to 6,100 in 2017, up to 6,600 in 2018.

There are no plans to reopen the accident and emergency unit at Roscommon Hospital at this time.

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