Sick Children Sleeping In Cars Outside Drogheda A&E On Coldest Night of the Year" - O'Dowd
The "Safeguard Drogheda A&E Campaign" has described as unacceptable the chaos and distress caused by scenes outside the Paediatric section of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital Emergency Department last night.
Speaking today, spokesperson for the group, Michael O'Dowd, said:
"Never before have I received phone calls like those, I received last night from parents and families of children waiting to be seen in the Paediatric section of the A&E. The Emergency Department was full last night - standing room only. One woman rang telling me that her sick child was crying while waiting, and the overwhelmed staff in the hospital had no choice but to advise her to put her child to sleep in her car in the hospital car park on one of the coldest nights of the year. She was not the only child asked to wait outside".
Mr O'Dowd continued: "The HSE's bypass protocol, which is seeking to divert patients away from Navan A&E and send them to Drogheda, will only add additional pressure on a system that is already failing. Consultants in Drogheda have warned against the closure of Navan A&E, but the HSE is refusing to listen. They have stated their fears that somebody will die as a result of this policy. It isn't fair on staff and it isn't fair on patients in either hospital".
"We're protesting on Monday (12th December), outside the hospital in Drogheda at 1.30pm. It is vital that people come out and support this campaign, we must oppose the closure of Navan A&E and look for more resources for Our Lady of Lourdes- the HSE needs to reverse their decision which will have life and death consequences for people in Drogheda, and the wider Louth / Meath area", concluded Mr O'Dowd.