Over the past number of months if not years there have been numerous reports surrounding the closure or downgrading of facilities at the Accident and Emergency Department of Roscommon County Hospital, Finally in the last two weeks the HSE and Department of Health have clarified their position on this matter.
Before I continue with this letter I know that it will not get a positive reaction from your readers but I feel certain issues need to be addressed. Roscommon County Hospital could and should have been an example to other community hospitals but unfortunately over the past while certain areas within the hospital have not been performing to the standards expected of a 21st Century facility.
On a number of occasions that I have had the opportunity to visit Roscommon Hospital either with family members or friends I have noticed a number of flaws in the system, but there have also been some positives – unfortunately the negatives have outweighed the positives. Minister James Reilly, the HSE and HIQA have all voiced their concerns regarding the safety of the facilities at Roscommon and other hospitals throughout the country, in general I would have to agree with their statements. An ordinary person does not require a medical degree to witness the serious safety and care issues at the Accident and Emergency and other departments at Roscommon County Hospital.
Roscommon Hospital has and have always had an extremely professional team of consultants, whether surgical or medical, but unfortunately in some cases the lack of nursing skills and patient aftercare are blighting their excellent work. I agree that Roscommon County Hospital is understaffed and nurses are underpaid, but there are a number of nurses employed within the services that need to step aside for a newly-qualified batch of graduates. What nurses need to realise is that nursing is a vocation as well as a job.
On hospital management where do I start? Too many chief and not enough Indians is a true saying and Roscommon is no different – there are managers with responsibility for various units within the hospital when one manager should have the overall responsibility to oversee the smooth running of the hospital in a professional and safe manner this should be carried out in conjunction with the Director of Nursing, Surgical and Medical team.
I feel that an urgent care facility as proposed by the Department of Health is the proper course of action for Roscommon. This facility will be and should be staffed by a professional team of General Practioners and nurses. The government also needs to provide a little extra by way of a gesture to the people of Roscommon. Extra funding needs to be provided by the Department of Transport in order to upgrade the road network between Roscommon and the next nearest A&E facility and extra emergency ambulances should also be provided and if possible an emergency motorcycle for rapid response.
In conclusion I wish to state that I have no affiliation to any political party but I do feel that Deputy Denis Naughten should resign the Fine Gael party whip with immediate effect, Denis made this pledge to the people of Roscommon and in order for him to have any credibility within his constituency he must put his words into action for the people he serves as their public representative, it is also wholly inappropriate for Deputy Naughton to continue in his role as chair of the Oireachtas Health Committee.
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