Cllr Anne Campbell: Minor Injuries Unit in Louth Finally opens to Minors

Cllrs Anne Campbell & Pearse McGeough

Sinn Féin Councillor Anne Campbell has welcomed the long awaited opening of the Minor Injuries Unit in the Louth Hospital to children from 5 years upwards.

Speaking today Cllr Campbell said “after all that waiting and postponement of promises on a number of occasions, the Minor Injuries Unit will finally accept minors for treatment. It is a far cry from full services being restored to our hospital but it is a good start.”

Councillor Campbell, along with the Watters Brothers Cumann have been holding a monthly awareness protest at the hospital gates on the last Friday of every month calling for this and other services to be expended and optimised.

“I have been working on this and keeping the pressure on since the minister announced it two years ago. I, supported by Cllr Pearse McGeough and our TD Gerry Adams refused to let the promise fall by the wayside and ensured it was kept to the forefront of our hospital campaign.”

The Minor Injuries Unit will accept children from 5 years upwards from Monday 24th September 2018.

They will treat:

  • Suspected broken bones to legs from knee to toes
  • Broken arms from collar bone to finger tips
  • All sprains and strains
  • Minor facial injuries (including oral, dental and nasal injuries
  • Minor scalds and burns
  • Wounds, bites, cuts, grazes and scalp lacerations
  • Splinters and fish hooks
  • Foreign bodies in eyes, ears, nose
  • Minor head injuries (fully conscious children, who did not experience loss of consciousness or vomit after the head injury)

Councillor Campbell also pointed out that “this will alleviate the pressure on Our Lady of Lourdes hospital in Drogheda as well as the pressure on families with children who up until now, had to drive past a Minor Injuries Unit to get to an overstretched unit in Drogheda. This is good news for Dundalk.”

1000 people attend Louth Hospital Minor Injuries Unit in June – Adams

Gerry Adams at a recent Louth Hospital protest

Louth Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams has said that the increasing number of presentations to the minor injuries unit at Louth County Hospital demonstrates a growing demand for the services offered there.

“A response to my parliamentary question indicates that for the first 6 months of 2018 attendances have been growing each month.


“In June 2018 1,000 people attended and received treatment at this unit.


“The existence of the minor injuries unit at the Louth Hospital removes patients from the emergency department at Our Lady of Lourdes.  This benefits patients who have less travel and waiting time and reduces pressure on the emergency department.


“The response from the RCSI Hospital group also indicates that the minor injuries unit will begin seeing patients over 5 years old from this month, and that an advanced nurse practitioner will be joining the staff.


“This is a campaign which myself and Councillor Anne Campbell have been working on for over a year.


“I am pleased that children between the ages of 5 and 14 will be able to access treatment for minor injuries in Dundalk.


“There is a range of other services which could be made available in Louth County Hospital and I have requested to meet with the CEO of the RCSI Hospital group to discuss these.”

Cllr Anne Campbell: Surgical Units a Necessity to Target Waiting Lists

Sinn Féin Councillor Anne Campbell and members of Watters Brothers Cumann once again held their monthly protest at the gates of the Louth Hospital on Friday.

Cllr Campbell said “we are here again this month to highlight the deliberate downgrading of essential services at Louth Hospital. I don’t think there is one family in Dundalk that isn’t affected by the crisis in the Health Service today and it really galls me to see this hospital operating here providing the scarcest of services.”

Louth Hospital currently has eight surgical beds which do routine procedures from 9am-4pm Monday-Friday.

Councillor Campbell and Sinn Féin are calling on these beds to be optimised and used

Cllrs Pearse McGeough, Anne Campbell & Ruairi Ó Murchú with other activists

24hours a day. Cllr Campbell said “this would necessitate the presence of a clinician which shouldn’t be too difficult to organise. Optimising these beds would help alleviate the pressure on Drogheda Hospital but more importantly it would start to target the spiralling waiting lists. There are currently 16,285 people on hospital waiting lists between Our Lady of Lourdes and Louth Hospital.”

“People of Dundalk and County Louth deserve better, they deserve to get the treatment they need rather than being treated as a statistic on a waiting list. This is people’s lives and the sooner the Government wake up and realise that, the better.”

Councillor Campbell also pointed out that despite promises from the Minister almost two years ago, the Minor Injuries Unit still do not accept minors (under 14’s) for treatment. “This date has been put back a number of times and the latest date is ‘September’. We are now into September so I am looking forward to seeing the service extended over the next few weeks as per the promises made.”

Cllr Anne Campbell: Minor Injuries Unit age limit delayed again

Cllr Anne Campbell

The long-promised reduction in the age of patients cared for at the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at the Louth County Hospital has been delayed yet again, according to Councillor Anne Campbell.

The Sinn Féin Councillor has revealed that “it could now be as late as the end of September before the MIU will be in a position to drop the age limit from its current 14 years to five.”

The news came after Cllr. Campbell asked a question about the facility at the Regional Health Forum meeting in Kells on Monday.

She said: “Sinn Féin TD Gerry Adams, along with Cllr. Tomás Sharkey, and I have been consistently asking when the MIU will drop the age limit after it was announced by Health Minister Simon Harris as far back as February last year.

“In November, when the Fine Gael leadership was in Louth, it was announced with a great fanfare that this would happen in the first quarter of 2018 but when that deadline passed, both Gerry Adams and I continued to ask when it would happen.

“We were subsequently told in March that the plan was to have the reduction in place by the end of June, but following my question to the RSCI Hospital Group, who run the Louth County, it has been revealed that it could be as late as September this year.

“This is a dreadful state of affairs for parents in the area, like myself, who have children under the current 14 years limit. Dozens and dozens are faced with travelling to Drogheda again this summer, despite the promises from Minister Harris and the Fine Gael party. Apart from anything else, lowering the age limit would alleviate the pressure on Drogheda hospital which is already overloaded and at breaking point.

“We will continue to press for the earliest possible introduction of this service and I intend to raise it once more at the next health forum meeting in July, where I will be asking what exactly the RCSI has been doing for the past 16 months to put this important measure in place. I Hope Minister Harris didn’t think he would make a grand announcement to grab a positive headline and then people would forget about it, because I can assure him, I am not letting this go. I will continue to pursue this until such times that 5 year old can be treated at the MIU in Louth Hospital.”

Louth MIU expansion in Jeopardy – Adams

Sinn Fein TD for Louth Gerry Adams has said that he is gravely concerned following confirmation from the HSE that commitments to expand the service provided by the Minor Injuries Unit at Louth County Hospital Dundalk are now in jeopardy.

The Louth TD said;

“Simon Harris came to Dundalk in November 2017 and announced that by February 2018 the Minor Injuries Unit at the Louth Hospital would begin seeing additional paediatric patients by reducing the current age threshold of 14 years old to 5 years old.

“In January I submitted a parliamentary question regarding the progress of this development and in response the RCSI Hospital Group, which runs health facilities in Louth, Meath and North Dublin, said: ‘It is envisaged that the Local Injuries Unit at the Louth County Hospital will be in a position to start seeing patients over five years of age with minor injuries in Quarter 2 2018. This change in practice remains dependent on staffing and appropriate staff mix’

“I submitted a further parliamentary question this month and the RCSI Hospital Group now tell me that the agreed start time for this service will be delayed due to ‘unanticipated resignations.’

“Furthermore the response goes on to state that ‘while the Louth Hospitals continue to endeavour to recruit the compliment of staff that is required to establish a safe level of service, they are not in a position to provide an updated time frame at this time.’

Cllr Anne Campbell

“From these responses it is clear to me that there is a real threat that this expanded service for those over 5 years old may never become operational.

“I am shocked that the Minister for Health would make such a grand announcement without any of the necessary ground work being complete.

“I have asked the Minister for Health what recruitment campaign has been undertaken to ensure that the staff are in place to operate this service and I urge him to honour the commitments he has made to Dundalk.

 

“My colleague councillor Anne Campbell will also be raising this matter at the next meeting of the Dublin North East Regional Health Forum, at which representatives of the RCSI Hospital Group will be present.”