Irish Medical News


Monaghan GPs to write to HIQA



A group of Monaghan-based GPs is to write to HIQA to express serious concerns about the increasing deterioration of paramedic and thrombolysis services in the county.


According to local GP Dr Illona Duffy, the group is currently drafting a letter to the Authority in which they will outline their unease about the provision of advanced paramedic services and the low level of thrombolysis treatment undertaken by advanced paramedics.

Dr Illona Duffy has claimed that there is a delay in heart attack patients presenting at Cavan General Hospital receiving thrombolysis – a potentially life saving treatment – due to the sometimes lengthy wait times in the emergency department (ED).

“We feel there is a poorer outcome for myocardial infarction patients as a result of them being delayed thrombolysis,” Dr Duffy said. “It is our understanding that thrombolysis is not being provided by advanced paramedics in the area at the moment.” The HSE has told IMN that thrombolysis
was twice provided by advanced paramedics in Monaghan in 2010.

“Appropriately trained advanced paramedics administer thrombolysis in the Monaghan region as required,” a spokesperson for the HSE Dublin North
East told IMN. An audit of patients admitting with chest pains at Monaghan Hospital in 2007/2008 showed that the Hospital met all international guidelines on cardiology care, Dr Duffy said. She questioned if the same “gold standard” could now be applied to services in the region amidst growing unease about the provision of thrombolysis.

Dr Duffy argued that following the transfer of acute medicine from Monaghan Hospital to Cavan General Hospital in July 2009, the HSE pledged to
increase paramedic services in the county. However, she said that GPs are worried that the recent removal of an advanced paramedic from Castleblayney to Louth could result in delays to patients receiving emergency treatment.

When questioned about the provision of paramedic services in Monaghan, the HSE told IMN that the National Ambulance Service (NAS) in the north-east, “is not a static service, and as such deploys its resources in a dynamic manner.” It stated that the NAS has 120 paramedics and 21 advanced paramedics assigned to the north-east. GPs in the county have previously contacted HIQA about patient safety concerns in the region.


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