Planning application for new Emergency Department expected shortly

It’s hoped a planning application for the new Emergency Department at Cavan General will be lodged before Christmas. Plans have been drawn up for the new unit.

A number of portacabins have been set up on the site, with the ongoing pandemic highlighting the shortcomings in the current unit.

Plans were announced for the new ED in Summer 2020 and include a second resuscitation room, additional clinical administration areas and an additional waiting area.

Also included in the proposed project are a new isolation facility and endoscopy ward.

The number of people attending the ED has increased since the pandemic.

The unit has entered “escalation” a number of times in recent months due to the number of people attending. Management had asked for people to only attend the ED if absolutely necessary.

Interim manager of Cavan General Hospital Su-zann O’Callaghan says the numbers presenting are growing: “We’re back up above what we would have seen pre-Covid. We’re seeing well over 100 patients per day. That wouldn’t have been our normal. We’d have been in or around 90 to 100. We’re now closer to 110. Two weeks ago we had 155 - a really abnormal blip.”

Originally opened in 1989, Cavan General has been plagued by a lack of space for a number of years.

Some services have moved from the main hospital, like the Women and Children's Service Outpatients Department, which is now housed in the Breffni Building, the former Jackson’s garage in the town.

The plans are included in the Capital Plan announced by the Department of Health in July.