Sinn Féin Councillor and chairperson of the campaign group Save of Services Wicklow (SOS Wicklow) which was established to campaign for the retention of the 24hour A&E in St. Columcilles Hospital has described the announcement that the A&E will close from the 27thNovember as a huge blow and a slap in the face for the people from right across Wicklow who depend on the critical service.
Councillor John Brady stated “The decision to go ahead with the closure of the 24hour A&E in Loughlinstown is a huge blow and a slap in the face for the people from Wicklow who depend on the critical service provided by the hospital. We have had a lot of spin from the government parties over the last few days, they have attempted to say that the downgrading of services in Loughlinstown and moving the widely used A&E to the already over capacity St.Vincents hospital will lead to an improvement of services”.
“This is complete nonsense, St.Vincents hospital is already stretched to over capacity, when the A&E in Loughlinstown is downgraded and people are forced to travel to St.Vincents the numbers lying on trolleys will simply increase and compound the problems experienced in that hospital, resulting in a reduction of patient care”.
Brady continued “Before the elections the Labour party in Wicklow campaigned to stop the downgrading of services in Loughlinstown and have the hospital upgraded. Unfortunately people voted for them and gave them a mandate thinking a vote for Labour was a vote for upgraded services in Loughlinstown hospital. Unfortunately the Labour party and Fine Gael have cut millions from the health budget and this is the real reason the hospital is closing”.
Brady concluded "Loughlinstown hospital is crucial for all the people in Wicklow, we have been poorly served when it comes to the provision of health care. We have already lost Wicklow District Hospital based on a dubious report from HIQA. We are now facing the closure of the 24 A&E in Loughlinstown. The hospital has been stripped bare over the last few years and services have been reduced which has resulted in patients losing confidence in the hospital. What the people in Wicklow want is a properly funded hospital they can have confidence in. Imposing the 21,000 users of the essential medical facility on the already overwhelmed St. Vincent’s Hospital simply will not work and it’s very disappointing that Wicklow’s five TD’s seem to think that reducing medical services for Wicklow is a good thing. I am calling on them at this stage to seek funding to upgrade the hospital as opposed to supporting its closure at the determent of the people from right across Wicklow”.