An attempt to have opening hours at the Medical Assessment Unit at Roscommon Hospital extended has run aground – but services will be expanded at the MAU.
Deputy Denis Naughten says that he secured €750,000 “per year” to expand services at the MAU with a view to extending the opening hours there. However, Roscommon management has deemed it more beneficial at present to reform the service to provide an expanded model of care.
Deputy Naughten says this expansion of services will be aimed at older people. Services for older people to stop them being admitted to hospital and allowing them to return to their homes quicker will be developed, he says, adding that there will also be additional staffing at the former A&E Unit.
Deputy Naughten said: “Earlier this year I secured €750,000 per year to expand services at the Medical Assessment Unit at the hospital with a view to extending the opening hours. However on review by hospital management it was deemed more beneficial, at this stage, to reform the service to provide an expanded model of care ‘more relevant to our local population, particularly older people and GP services’ and which works within the constraints on the existing number of hospital beds”.
The focus will be on preventing people from having to be admitted to hospital in the first place and also minimising length of time people need to spend in hospital.
“This is the first significant investment at the Urgent Care Centre in Roscommon Hospital since the A&E closed in 2011 and forms part of a commitment which I secured in the Programme for Government,” said Denis Naughten.
“This will mean focusing on providing not just urgent care but also preventative care to older patients and urgent outpatient care to medical patients over the age of 16”.
Deputy Naughten said that the hospital is in the process of recruiting 15 additional staff including a consultant physician, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech & language therapist, dietician, pharmacist, social worker and specialist nurses who will form a multidisciplinary ‘Frailty Team’. Additionally, a new consultant radiologist, radiographer and cardiac physiologist will allow the hospital to provide additional diagnostics.