Sinn Féin Louth County Councillor Tomás Sharkey has contacted the CEO of the Royal College of Surgeons Hospital Group in relation to the recent death of local man Raymond Hearty.
Cllr Sharkey said, “Louth County Hospital is part of the RCSI group within the HSE. Mr Bill Maher was appointed the CEO of the group some months ago. After the death of 48 year old Mr Raymond Hearty, his family questioned why the ambulance had to bypass Louth County Hospital to take Raymond to The Lourdes Hospital. They asked the same question that is on the lips of everybody in Dundalk.
“Raymond’s funeral heard a heartfelt appeal for services to be returned to Dundalk. I have contacted Bill Maher and asked for this case to be investigated. I want to establish the risk to life in having no A&E in Dundalk, the detrimental effects to patients who have to travel for longer to Drogheda and the logistics involved in re-instating services in Dundalk.
“The people of Dundalk campaigned and marched to oppose the closure of A&E, Intensive care and Acute Medical in Dundalk. We collected a petition of thousands of signatures. Numerous election candidates promised service re-instatement on their election. We were right to warn the HSE of the dire consequences of the closure of services.
“As a member of the HSE Regional Health Forum, I am committed to keeping the issue of services in Dundalk on the agenda and in the minds of HSE officials.”
Councillor Tomás Sharkey is reminding people to use the Minor Injuries Unit in Louth County Hospital and avoid the wait in Drogheda A&E.
Cllr Sharkey said, “Although we are in the height of summer the trolley crisis continues in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. It is important to remember that the Minor Injuries Unit in Dundalk is open from 9am until 8pm each day. Of course we want an A&E service in Dundalk and I will continue to lobby for more services.
“In the meantime, people should be aware that the MIU is open, has a very short waiting time and the unit is spotless and well staffed. During the summer people are playing more sports and generally more active so there is a greater risk of a minor injury.
“I appeal to people to avoid the Lourdes A&E and use Dundalk hospital where possible instead”.
LCH MIU treats the following conditions for patients over the age of 14 years:
- Suspected broken bones to legs from knees to toes.
- Suspected broken bones to arms from collar bone to finger tips.
- All sprains and strains
- Facial injuries
- Eye injuries
- Minor scalds and burns
- Wounds, bites, cuts, grazes and scalp lacerations
- Splinters and fish hoots.
- Foreign bodies in eyes/ ears / nose.
- Minor chest injuries.
Councillor Tomás Sharkey is calling for post-mortem examinations to be carried out in local hospitals at the weekends.
Cllr Sharkey said, “When the laboratory service in Louth County hospital closed the post-mortem work was also moved to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. As a rule post-mortems are not carried out in that hospital over the weekend unless the state pathologist requests it.
“In recent times I am aware that a number of tragic deaths took place on a Friday night / early Saturday. This meant that post-mortems were not carried out until the following Monday morning and the families involved were delayed in receiving the remains home for a wake and funeral.
“This arrangement can cause stress and additional grief for families. It is not fair and should be addressed by HSE management. I have called for a review of the arrangements and expect that the merits of the request be taken on board”.
Sinn Féin Councillor has hit out at those responsible for setting a fire on the third floor of the Ard Dealgan flats complex in the early hours of this morning.
Cllr Green who has been tirelessly working to find a resolution to the complex said “Once again, fire crews were called because anti-social elements within the apartment complex decided to set a fire. The residents have been calling for something to be done and yet again, their peace has been destroyed. Louth County Council have said they were exploring options to convert the complex into livable accommodation, that can’t happen quick enough.”
There have been a number of fires over the years at the apartment complex on Quay Street. Cllr Green said “someone is going to be killed at this complex. The council issued a derelict site notice some time ago and there has been no response from any of the ‘interested’ parties. Who has responsibility for this nightmare building? Beltary Properties hold the mortgage and haven’t responded to the Council. McFeeley, the developer who built the complex appears to be off the scene now totally. Who is responsible? Who is paying these call out charges to the fire brigade”
Councillor Green, who organised a picket last month and has organised another one for next Friday 26th June said she intends to provide a platform “to let the community have their say. They have had enough. It’s time the residents took back their area. They have a right to live in peace and in safety. They won’t have that as long as Ard Dealgan remains in the state it is in. We will continue with these pickets until someone stands up and takes responsibility before someone is hurt or killed.”
Fire crews attended the fire in the early hours of Friday morning and extinguished the fire in a third floor apartment using a hydraulic platform to gain access.
Sinn Féin Louth TD Gerry Adams has expressed his “support and solidarity” with the members of the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation at St Mary’s, Drumcar, following their decision this week to take industrial action over budget cuts and a reduction in staffing levels.
Last week a HIQA report into the unit in St. Mary’s Drumcar which has 16 patients with intellectual disabilities raised very serious concerns.
Gerry Adams TD said: “The INMO has confirmed that St. Mary’s budgets have faced consistent cuts over recent years with a damaging impact on staffing levels.
According to the union the management at St. Mary’s has written to them in recent weeks outlining their intention to introduce further staff reductions, and most worryingly in light of the HIQA report, to recruit non registered staff to administer medication instead of the Registered Nurse in Intellectual Disability (RNID).
The Staff of St. Mary’s work hard to sustain the services it provides for hundreds of users with diminishing resources. They do so with dedication and compassion.”
Louth County Councillor Imelda Munster has criticised Louth based government TDs and Senators who like to pretend that they have played no part in the introduction and impact on public services of government austerity policies.
Councillor Munster said: “Government TDs and Senators from Louth must bear responsibility for this appalling situation. Mary Moran nor any of her government colleagues have any credibility when they lament financial cuts to services and staff shortages. Earlier this week and speaking about the Drumcar cuts the Labour Seanadóir said ‘I wholeheartedly agree that funding to support the staff and patients is seriously needed.’
Has Ms Moran told her Ministerial colleagues? Will she vote against her party’s austerity policies?
It is a fact that for over four years TDs from Labour and Fine Gael have voted in the Oireachtas for government austerity policies which have created enormous difficulties for the citizens of Louth, including cutting home help hours, guidance counsellors in schools, and payments to single parents, as well as introducing stealth taxes like the water charges and family home tax.”