Wednesday, February 24, 2021

A Castlebar councillor has expressed concern at a recent situation he was made aware of that involved an elderly woman being wheeled from the modular unit to the main hospital building at Mayo University Hospital (MUH) in freezing conditions.

Mayo University Hospital

Cllr Michael Kilcoyne raised this situation at last week’s Regional Health Forum West when questioning why the provision of covered-in walkway between the two units has not yet occurred.

He said he had received a letter from the woman and was shocked to hear that she had been moved during the night time from one building to the other during the recent cold snap. The temperature at the time, he said, was about minus two degrees.

He was told by Joe Hoare, Assistant National Director for Estates, that the issue with providing a walkway is that it would compromise access for fire tenders and ambulances to the Adult Mental Health Unit.

Cllr Michael Kilcoyne

Mr Hoare said the recently constructed modular unit was designed as a unit to itself and not for the movement of patients to the main hospital. Mr Hoare added that there is currently no viable solution but they will continue to explore alternative solutions.

Meanwhile, the Forum heard that an extension to the A&E Unit at MUH was discussed at the National Capital Steering Group in January and the project is subject to further consideration at national level.

The process stages remaining before construction can commence are scheme design, preliminary and statutory conditions approval, detailed design acceptance, tendering and evaluation.

Cllr Kilcoyne said he was disappointed that the project had fallen behind schedule, having first been initiated in 2016 and having had a proposal submitted nationally in 2018.

He added that he would “continue to persist” in his queries about the development.

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