New ambulance service to Monaghan Injury Unit will ease pressure - senator

Ambulances can transport some patients from Cavan General to Monaghan Injury Unit from this Monday in order to ease pressure on the system it has emerged.

Senator Robbie Gallagher (FF) had raised the matter with the Minister for Health after hospital management in Cavan issued a statement to local media stating that the Emergency Department in Cavan General Hospital was experiencing high volumes of patients.

Senator Gallagher pointed out that the statement brought into focus the potential of the MIU in Monaghan to further relieve pressure on Cavan.

Senator Gallagher said, “Monaghan MIU now operates a seven-days-a-week service from 8am to 8pm to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age- and patients do not need an appointment or a GP referral.

"Many patients who present to the emergency department have non-urgent care needs that could be more appropriately treated through an Injury Unit. The National Ambulance Service (NAS) and Roscommon University Hospital (RUH) opened a new pathway to allow paramedics to bring patients to the most appropriate location for their treatment. This pathway will now come into operation in Cavan / Monaghan as well. “

Patients that meet the agreed clinical criteria and live within the catchment area will be referred to Monaghan MIU instead of the Emergency Department when it is safe to do so.

The pathway will result in patients receiving medical treatment in a hospital closer to their home and, crucially, will release ambulances more quickly to respond to other emergency calls.

Any 112/999 patients that do not meet these clinical criteria will continue to be transported to Cavan Emergency Departments for assessment and treatment. Monaghan Minor Injury Unit is an alternative to Cavan’s busy ED, treating breaks, sprains, dislocations, burns and wounds. Staff take X-rays, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means.

They provide swift access to tests, can refer patients to specialist care and arrange follow-up appointments where necessary. Patients attending a Minor Injury Unit are typically seen and discharged quicker than if they attended the Emergency Department (ED), where patients with more serious illnesses take priority.

“With the correct protocols in place, this initiative is a win-win for all concerned and I am delighted that it will now be in place for the Cavan / Monaghan Hospital group,” said Senator Gallagher.