Officials stress new ED will be at UHG site while Merlin Park will be focus of new elective hospital

Galway Bay fm newsroom – Saolta officials have stressed that the planned new emergency department at UHG will go ahead regardless of discussions regarding a new hospital at Merlin Park.

The ED was raised at a meeting of the Health Forum West where HSE Estates West Manager Joe Hoare said it has turned out to be a very complex scheme due to the bus corridor and helipad requirements.

The ED would occupy two floors of a new five-storey block which would also include maternity and paediatrics.

The forum heard a meeting has recently been held regarding the maternity section of the block, while there will be a meeting next week on the overall scheme.

Chief Operating Officer Ann Cosgrove told the meeting there should be absolute clarity that the ED block will be happening on the UHG site.

She said Merlin Park will be the site for the elective hospital development.

Officials advised that once the scheme is finalised for the build, the HSE will be engaging with An Bord Pleanala to discuss whether the block will be considered strategic infrastructure or otherwise.

The meeting heard the ongoing appraisal regarding UHG and Merlin Park will be complete by July.

Tuam area councillor Mary Hoade said she had received representations at her clinic that a 95 year old woman had to spend four nights on a trolley at UHG recently.

She argues the overcrowding crisis needs to be addressed as the new ED is unlikely to be complete for a further five years.