Mayor wants action on hospital overcrowding

The mayor of Mullingar, Cllr Hazel Smyth, has called for action on the overcrowding issues at the Emergency Department at the Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar, and also called for the provision of new acute medical beds at the hospital.

Cllr Smyth raised the subject at the February meeting of the Municipal District of Mullingar Kinnegad, expressing concern over the frequency at which the hospital is in escalation mode.

She said that while great work is done at the hospital, overcrowding is an issue: “It does mean that people are concerned or worried if they do have to attend at the emergency department at the hospital; that they are worried about how long it might take them to be seen,” she said.

Cllr Hazel Smyth, mayor of the Municipal District of Mullingar Kinnegad.

The mayor was aware of the recent announcements made about the new unit for the hospital, and she regarded its provision as “a matter of urgency”.

Support came from Cllr Andrew Duncan, who said the hospital is serve a huge catchment area that is increasing all the time: “A significant number of attendees at the ED are coming now from Meath,” he said.

Cllr Duncan said that significant investment would be required to extend it, and his concern was not just for the health and safety of the attendees but also the staff working there who can find themselves facing “an extraordinary amount of intense work every day”.

Cllr Ken Glynn also spoke in favour of the motion, saying that the staff at the hospital were under serious pressure.

“That brings unhealthy stress into their lives,” he said.

“And the bigger problem is we have inadequate facilities,” he continued.

The council agreed to write to the Department of Health about the members’ concerns.