Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Questions (147)

Sandra McLellan


147. Deputy Sandra McLellan asked the Minister for Health if he will defer any decision on the cutting of accident and emergency services at Bantry General Hospital, County Cork, currently scheduled for 8 July, for a further 12 months until a full process of consultation with all relevant stakeholders, as outlined in the Future Care document, has been completed; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30400/13]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Health)

The Framework for Smaller Hospitals lists the services that are appropriate to a smaller hospital to ensure a safe, high quality services for patients. The reorganisation of services in Bantry General Hospital is being made in order to ensure that patient safety is not compromised and that the people of West Cork will get the best possible outcome from attending the appropriate hospital best suited to their health needs. Patients with minor injuries and low levels of complexity will continue to be treated in Bantry and patients with life threatening, traumatic and complex injuries will continue to go to Cork University Hospital, where they will have the best possible chance of recovery. These changes have been the subject of ongoing discussion with representatives of the wider West Cork community.

The present unit at the hospital treats people with minor injuries such as suspected fractures, sprains, minor cuts, burns and scalds 24 hours a day seven days a week. This service will continue at a Local Injury Unit at the hospital 12 hours a day, seven days a week from July of this year. The new service will have more experienced, highly qualified doctors with experience in emergency medicine and access to the support of consultants in emergency medicine who will visit on a frequent basis. Moreover, the designation of Bantry General Hospital as a remote rural hospital ensures that it may continue to provide acute hospital services required by the population of West Cork. Medical patients such as those suffering from blackouts, asthma and diabetes and medical emergencies such as acute cardiac problems and stroke will continue to be assessed and admitted to the hospital, as required, on a 24/7 basis.