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Hospital staff dealt with 59 violent incidents last year

Mayo General Hospital
Gardaí have vowed to tackle violence at Mayo General Hospital’s A&E Department.

Hospital staff dealt with 59 violent incidents last year

Trevor Quinn


Staff at Mayo General Hospital’s A&E department were forced to deal with 59 serious violent incidents, many of them involving drunken members of the public.
Gardaí and local representatives condemned the incidents yesterday (Monday) during a presentation to the  County Mayo Joint Policing Committee meeting in Castlebar.
During the presentation, Denis Mullins, Services Manager, Mayo General Hospital, said that the staff had to call the Gardaí in 25 out of the 59 incidents.
Fianna Fáil Cllr Al McDonnell subsequently proposed that an ‘assessment unit’ should be established to evaluate the urgency and treatment requirements of late night A&E attendees.
Cllr McDonnell stated that when he visited the A&E department at Mayo General Hospital a number of weeks ago, a large number of those present were not A&E patients. He said that he believe that this is a large part of the problem, and that in his opinion people were able to gain access to A&E too easily. “The A&E department is dealing with acute care and serious accidents … These type of people should never be let in.”
Swinford-based councillor Joe Mellett, who has been a publican for more than 30 years seconded Cllr McDonnell’s proposal for an ‘assessment unit’. He said that he believed the culture of drinking was changing, and this was a major contributory factor. He highlighted the recent popularity of mixing spirits with energy-boosting soft drinks. “I took the decision to stop selling Red Bull in my pub a number of years ago. There was was people ordering triple vodkas and Red Bull in a pint glass, and they were throwing it back like a pint of beer.”
Garda Supt Joe Doherty said he has a zero-tolerance stance on violence in hospitals.
“We will do everything possible to help out our hospitals. Any file which lands on my desk in relation to incidents like this will be given zero-tolerance. People who behave in that manner will face the full rigours of the law.”

HAVE YOUR SAY email trevorquinn@mayonews.ie with your comments