Minister Stephen Donnelly on a recent visit to Cavan.

No decision on closure of Navan ED - Minister

There was criticism following a meeting with the HSE yesterday.

The Health Minister has denied a decision has been made to close the Emergency Department at Our Lady's Hospital in Navan.

The HSE met yesterday with local representatives to discuss the ED, with it confirming its intention was to close it and replace it with a Medical Assessment Unit.

The news was met with criticism, with speculation over recent years the hospital could be downgraded.

The HSE also outlined proposals for a 12 hour Local Injuries Unit and the closure of the hospital's Intensive Care facility.

However, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly this morning issued a statement saying no decision had been made.

"No decision regarding the HSE’s proposal for the transition of the Emergency Department at Our Lady’s Hospital Navan (OLHN) has been agreed by this government."

He did however acknowledge there are "concerns" over the unit and its safety.

"The HSE has clinical concerns about the safety of the Emergency Department at Navan. I asked the HSE to outline those concerns and consult with elected representatives on behalf of the local community. That meeting took place yesterday (Monday, June 13).

"I have heard clearly the concerns of clinicians in Navan as to the ongoing safety concerns of operating a small Emergency Department."

Minister Donnelly did also acknoewlege concerns about the potential impact on surrounding hospitals, including Cavan General, if the ED was to close.

"I have also heard the concerns of clinicians at other hospitals that would be impacted at a time when all health services are under such pressure.

"Several important issues, including additional capacity in other hospitals impacted, as well as the continued ability of people in the Navan area to access emergency and urgent care, would need to be fully addressed before any proposed transition by the HSE takes place."