Our Lady’s Hospital Navan’s Emergency Department transitioning to a 24-hour Medical Assessment Unit

 

HSE Statement

Monday, June 13th, 2022

Our Lady’s Hospital Navan’s Emergency Department transitioning to a 24-hour Medical Assessment Unit

Navan/Dublin: The HSE has announced plans for the final step in the transition of Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan (OLHN) to a Model 2 hospital, which will involve evolution of the hospital’s Emergency Department (ED) to a 24-hour Medical Assessment Unit with support from a Local Injuries Unit.

Once established, the new Medical Assessment Unit will operate 24/7 and will continue to see approximately 80% of the 25-30 patients who currently arrive at the hospital’s ED each day. An average of 5-6 more unstable patients per day, currently brought to OLHN by ambulance but who cannot be managed at OLHN, will now be sent directly to an appropriate hospital, thus ensuring they receive the highest quality of care without delay.

That higher level hospital (known as a Model 3 or 4 hospital) will have essential critical services to safely and appropriately treat their serious illness on arrival, thus ensuring the best outcome. These critical services, which do not exist at Navan, include interventional cardiology, interventional radiology, neurology, emergency surgery, infectious diseases and nephrology.

When transition commences there will be greater transfer of patients between OLHN and the Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda (OLOLH). This will ensure patients receive the right services in the right hospital, including scheduled orthopaedic services in OLHN. It will also ensure the best use of all available capacity, including the reopening of 30 step-down beds.

Clinical Director of Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan and consultant surgeon at the Mater Hospital Mr Gerry McEntee said: “The critically ill patients of County Meath will now be provided with the best opportunity of survival by being brought directly to the nearest Model 3 or 4 hospital. This reconfiguration is supported by the physicians, the surgeons, the anaesthetists, the junior doctors, and the ED nursing staff in OLHN who have all expressed their concerns regarding current ED patient safety.”

According to the HSE Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry: “In line with what has been successfully implemented in other hospitals, OLHN will maintain and expand on most of the services it now provides. A small proportion of patients who currently present to OLHN and who have complex needs or life-threatening conditions will need to go directly to another hospital to ensure that they can access all the care they need. OLHN will be developed in line with Sláintecare principles, providing a wider range of services including day care and specialist services.”

Navan hospital’s ED currently does not meet safe clinical standards for certain presentations, and the revision of its status has been sought by clinicians in both Navan and Drogheda for some years. For example, it does not treat major heart attacks, suspected strokes, major trauma, nor does it deal with those requiring maternity or paediatric care. Patients arriving at Navan requiring critical care therefore often experience potentially catastrophic delays in accessing the treatment they require.

“These changes now being made will protect patient safety while positioning OLHN as a vibrant, multi-service hospital for the people of Navan and the wider catchment area across Meath,” said Dr Henry.

This reconfiguration of the Hospital to a Model 2 hospital, with a Model 2 Regional Orthopaedic unit was set out in the Government Policy document ‘Securing the Future of Smaller Hospitals – A Framework for Change (2013)’. The plans build on a number of reports over recent years recommending reconfiguration based on the profile of services and patient safety.

“It will also help to build on the strong connection with the Mater Hospital, which has had a positive impact on waiting lists and which has created new pathways for patients in Meath to access surgery. The new second general theatre, recovery room and day ward mean an increasing number of Mater Hospital surgeons will be providing more surgical services to the local community,” Mr McEntee said.

Working closely with the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG), the National Ambulance Service has developed a plan to facilitate this reconfiguration, thus ensuring that patients are transported safely and quickly to the most appropriate hospital for their time critical care needs.  

The change will not affect the level of activity within the Hospital, which will become busier as a result of recent and ongoing investment. For example;

·       Several new Consultant posts have been developed as joint posts with the Mater Hospital.

·       OLHN recently opened a new second theatre, day ward and minor procedure theatre increasing capacity by 100%.

·       Navan recently opened a state-of-the-art Laboratory allowing for a fully accredited lab on site in OLHN finished in 2019.

·       There has been investment over 2019 and 2020 in new, state-of-the-art Digital Radiology equipment to X-Ray Department.

·       Navan opened a new Rehabilitation Unit on site in 2020.

·       Endoscopy services will expand from one to four rooms increasing current capacity by 300%.

·       Introduction of a surgical observation unit.

·       New day service Mental Health facility.

·       OLHN will provide a hub for new integrated care of the elderly.

·       Chronic disease management teams are being developed through Sláintecare.

·       Enhanced Integration with Primary Care and Community Services are being developed at Navan General Hospital.

·       Navan will enhance its diagnostics capacity and assist with reducing the current waiting lists

ENDS

Last updated on: 13 / 06 / 2022