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CRITICAL DECISION; HSE plans to shut A& E at 12 hospitals and replace them with minor clinics which will close at 8pm.

Byline: MIRROR REPORTER

AS many as 12 leading hospitals could see their 24-hour A& E cover being replaced by minor injury clinics which would close at night.

The shock move comes after a review of emergency departments and out-ofhours surgery throughout Ireland.

It is understood HSE bosses are recommending A& Es be replaced "by a combination of minor injury clinics and medical assessment units" at most of the hospitals studied.

But these clinics will only operate from 9am to 8pm and will not be able to deal with major trauma cases or treat heart attack or stroke victims. Some smaller hospitals will have the amount of acute surgery they can carry out limited.

The report also recommends acute surgery services should be withdrawn from the majority of hospitals studied after 8pm and at weekends.

The list of hospitals which could lose the 24- hour service is Cork's Mercy University Hospital, which only re-opened its A& E last December after a EUR5million overhaul.

Round-the-clock emergency services have already been suspended from Ennis and St John's.

A HSE spokesman claimed no decision on the recommendations had been made yet. The study also found some hospitals "experienced difficulty" in locating patients' medical records.

The list: The South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital as well as Mallow and Bantry hospitals, Cork, Kerry General, Cavan, Louth, and Monaghan hospitals, Our Lady's Hospital, Navan, Midwest Regional in Ennis, Midwest Regional Nenagh and St John's Hospital, Limerick. 24-hr emergency services have already been withdraw from Ennis and St John's..

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUIR
Date:Apr 28, 2009
Words:258
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