Beds reduction proposed for Meath and Louth hospitals


BED NUMBERS will be reduced and services curtailed in hospitals in counties Louth and Meath under cost-saving proposals drawn up by the Health Service Executive.

The details are contained in a confidential memo that outlines proposed cuts to Louth County Hospital in Dundalk, Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. The plans are related to proposals to cut up to 174 agency staff jobs from hospitals in the two counties.

The memo proposes that the ongoing provision of the minor-injuries unit at Louth County Hospital needs to be adjusted to match peak activity, and will therefore close at 5pm on weekdays.

Plans to reduce the oncology service at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, as well as reducing the number of beds, including five gynaecology beds, are under consideration.

It is also proposed that the hospital’s endoscopy unit close earlier on weekdays, resulting in 25 fewer endoscopies per week.

Plans to extend the closure of the regional orthopaedic unit at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan are under consideration, in addition to reconfiguring seven-day beds to five-day. A plan to reconfigure the medical bed complement to capacity is estimated to result in a reduction of eight beds.

The memo stresses that the proposals, the result of “full multidisciplinary consultation and deliberation”, are not final.

It states the risk-assessment process is now commencing.