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Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Fine Gael’s Dr. Twomey has again raised his concerns regarding health services in County Wexford. “I am particularly concerned about the conditions currently in the A & E Department in Wexford General Hospital and the closure of St. Senan’s, due in February 2011, along with other mental hospitals, throughout the country.”

“During this month, a number of patients have been on trolleys in the A & E peaking at between 12 and 21 patients on trolleys this past week. This is due to the closure of St. Aidan’s Ward as a cost saving measure. The A & E is not set up to deal with this number of patients. Whereas the staff have to work under these difficult conditions, the patients are the ones that are the biggest losers. Waterford Regional also had a number of patients on trolleys this week and this is where County Wexford patients are supposed to go if our A& E is closed at night? This is typical of the HSE: putting balance sheets before patients.”

“As well as our hospital being overcrowded, Wexford’s mental health services are also in trouble. While St. Senan’s is due to close next February, no alternative acute psychiatric unit has been put in its place in County Wexford. It seems strange that one agency in the State, the Mental Health Commission, can dictate that these centres are supposed to close next year while on the other hand, another State agency, the HSE, states it has no money to provide alternative accommodation.”

“The HSE says on its website that “The main focus of Wexford Mental Health Services is to develop community based services which are accessible and acceptable to service users in line with Vision for Change.” This all sounds very well but it seems that the HSE is again missing the point: when a person has an acute psychiatric episode, community based psychiatric services cannot treat the patient. The person needs to go into hospital, as they may be experiencing hallucinations and delusions and they may also be a danger to themselves.”

“My concerns are that not only will County Wexford patients have to travel to Waterford or, in the case of mental health patients to Kilkenny, but that when they get to these hospitals, they will be essentially squeezed in to existing overcrowded facilities and that will not work. County Wexford needs an acute unit in Wexford General Hospital and a 24 hour A &E Department.”

“I urge the Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney to give me answers to this disastrous state of affairs for health services in County Wexford!”

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