Emergency Department

  • The emergency department at Mayo University hospital had in excess of thirty people on trolleys waiting for a bed on more than two occasions in the past week.

    Midwest News spoke to a person who was in the ED at the Castlebar hospital on Sunday and again yesterday when there were 36 patients all on trolleys in cubicles and along the corridor of the ED. The person who spoke to us was there with an elderly parent.

    On Sunday the patient waited on a trolley for hours and was eventually discharged, only to be re-admitted yesterday, after waiting hours on a chair to eventually get a trolley.

    The man who spoke to Midwest News ,does not wish to be identified, but described the conditions as he and his ill parent  experienced it yesterday (Monday) and the day before (Sunday).

    He described the conditions as "dreadful" with no room for staff to deal with sick people. He described it as "third world conditions" and said it is completely unacceptable.

    He has today written to the Minister for Health Simon Harris and the HSE about the experience and stresses that staff at the hospital are not to blame for the experience.

  • The general public should be asking Fine Gael election candidates on the doorsteps what the Government is doing about delivering a larger Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    That's according to Castlebar Independent Councillor Michael Kilcoyne, who says the large numbers of patient recorded on trolleys each month at the Castlebar hospital highlight the lack of an adequate Emergency Department to cater for the numbers presenting.

    At this month's meeting of the HSE Regional Forum, Councillor Kilcoyne sought figures from HSE management as to the number of patients on trolleys at Mayo University Hospital in the first three months of this year, and claims the numbers recorded are not acceptable.

  • The long awaited extension to the Emergency Department of Mayo University Hospital is at a standstill, as hospital management awaits funding approval from government for the development.

    That’s according to the General Manager of Mayo University Hospital, Catherine Donohue.

    The new, modular build ED unit, promised to the Castlebar facility eight years ago, would increase its capacity by 40 percent, and would go a long way in addressing the continuous overcrowding of patients on trolleys in the corridor of the unit.

    Catherine Donohue says the plans and costings of the new development are completed and have been submitted to the relevant government department but cannot proceed until capital funding is approved.

    To date this has not happened, yet the numbers of patients presenting at the ED of Mayo University hospital continues to increase.

    Speaking to Midwest News today Ms Donohue explained that it's her top priority to secure the extended ED which she explained will make hospital access safer for patients.


  • There is no progress on the long promised extension to the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital, according to Mayo Sinn Fein deputy Rose Conway Walsh.

    The deputy says this situation was confirmed by the new Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly in response to a parliamentary question submitted by Fine Gael deputy Alan Dillon on developments at the hospital.

    A modular / prefab extension of the Emergency Dept at the Castlebar hospital was promised by government nine years ago, but to date no funding has been approved, despite persistent overcrowding at the ED.

    Deputy Conway Walsh has been giving more details to Midwest News today. She says the failure to deliver on the long promised extension to the ED, is further compounded by the present situation at Belmullet District hospital with just 5 patients at present, and no new admissions while maintenance works are underway indefinetely.

  • Management at Mayo University Hospital have apologised to patients and their families who are experiencing long waiting times in the Emergency Department, which is described as "extremely busy" today.

    The hospital has admitted a lot of seriously ill patients over the last 3 days, and some patients from yesterday remain in the Emergency Dept, awaiting an inpatient bed.

    Hospital management says everyone who presents at the ED will be treated, but strictly in order of medical priority, and are reminding the public only to attend the ED in the case of real emergencies.

    For minor injuries, the Injury Unit at Roscommon Hospital is open from 8am to 8pm every day with a turnaround time of seeing and treating patients of less than one hour.

    Management at Mayo University Hospital have also thanked their staff who are working extremely hard at this time, dealing with the high volumes of patients.



  • Government Chief Whip, Fine Gael TD for Galway West  Sean Kyne  has  called for planning permission for the new Emergency Department of University Hospital Galway to be sought without delay. The Minister expressed concerns regarding a decision to postpone seeking planning until after the completion of what’s termed an “options appraisal” report. 
    He says he is extremely concerned by the delay in the submission of a planning application by the Saolta Hospital Group. 

    The Minister’s call comes after after Saolta officials decided to delay lodging the planning application in order to carry out an appraisal which is due to be completed by the end of February, and  will evaluate the future use of both the Merlin Park and UHG sites.

    Minister Kyne states that “it is unacceptable and unthinkable that planning permission for the new ED, the design of which is finalised, has not yet been submitted and is being held up by a consultant’s report on healthcare facilities in Galway”. 

    “The current Emergency Department is not fit for purpose”, he says. “ It is neither an appropriate facility for the patients or the staff and was described as not fit for purpose by former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny”.

     Minister Kyne told Midwest News that he knows that Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and the Minister for Health Simon Harris are both of the same view and are anxious to make progress on the project. 

    “The issue of the proposed elective hospital in Merlin Park is a completely separate issue. The options appraisal does not impact on the need for a new emergency department, which is universally accepted. In the interests of patients across the West and of healthcare staff the planning application for the new Emergency Department must be submitted without delay”, he concluded.