Martin calls for minor injury unit at South Infirmary
The accident and emergency unit at the South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital will close this Sunday.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South Central, Micheál Martin, has called for a minor injury unit to be retained at the hospital.
The transfer of acute medicine and surgery to Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) will also take place this Sunday. Additional beds for acutely ill patients, who would previously have been admitted to SIVUH, opened in CUH and MUH on 16 July.
On Wednesday there were 11 patients on trolleys in MUH and nine in CUH according to figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO). The figures were four and ten patients respectively on Tuesday.
Deputy Martin called for the retention of a minor injury unit. “This would be able to deal with injury or illnesses that are not an emergency and therefore take some of the pressure off the already stretched service at the CUH,” he said.
“It would also leave the people of Douglas, Ballinlough, Turners Cross and surrounding areas with a facility available to them for minor injury and illnesses.
“It would also benefit patients, who may be forced to wait hours for a simple procedure or treatment. With the minor injury clinic in place, patients who are in need of emergency treatment will be seen quicker and the waiting hours will be reduced.
The HSE claims that the realignment of hospital services in Cork city has lead to “a significant and progressive improvement in the number of patients waiting to be admitted in the ED in CUH”.
In a statement, they said that “the daily average number of patients awaiting admission at 8am each morning has reduced to seven for the past four – five weeks, compared with an average of 26 patients awaiting admission at 8am for the first three months of this year”.
CEO in CUH Tony McNamara said: “The implementation of the acute medicine programme, together with the efforts of all staff in CUH, has greatly improved patients’ experience in the ED in recent months. The opening of the acute medical and cardiac assessment units means patients are now receiving treatment in a timely and appropriate way.”
The new Mercy Urgent Care Centre, on the grounds of the former St Mary’s Orthopaedic Hospital in Gurranabraher is an additional facility for people in the city and the surrounding areas needing treatment for minor injuries like suspected fractures, minor burns, sprains and lacerations.
It is led by a consultant in emergency medicine and has facilities to take x-rays, apply plaster casts and stitch wounds. It is open seven days a week from 8am to 6pm and the HSE say it is currently treating and discharging patients within an hour of arrival.
The realignment of emergency departments in Cork means the SIVUH is now mainly an elective hospital with an expertise in day surgery and short stay surgery. SIVUH’s sexual assault treatment unit will also continue to provide services on a 24/7 basis.