Mitchell pleased an extra ambulance and 6 staff are to be based in Newcastle Hospital

Accident and Emergency facilities are being transferred from Loughlinstown Hospital to St.Vincent’s Hospital. Many types of emergency now bypass the hospital and the A & E facilities will close on 27thNovember. This is being done because much better diagnostic facilities and staff to interpret them are being provided at the larger hospital.

My concern is there should be an improved ambulance service to Wicklow because of the extra distance and to ensure that St Vincent’s can cope with the extra patients. As a member of the HSE Regional Health Forum the HSE has informed me that by the 27th November they will base an extra ambulance and medical motorbike at Newcastle where there is good access to the N11. They are recruiting 6 staff for this. They already have an extra transfer ambulance and have boosted the capacity of St. Vincent’s A & E section to cope.

Loughlinstown will have a smaller scale smaller injuries section open from 8am to 6pm 7 days a week. Other area of specialist medicine will be expanded to use the in-patient beds.

I have written to the HSE and asked for a review of this 3 months after implementation. I also said that in the long term, when a further reduction in A & E units is possible, a major A& E unit is needed with direct access to an M50 junction. A & E cases often need urgent transport and it would be better not to locate them in traffic choked parts of Dublin.

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