Bantry General Hospital clarifies situation over child admissions

November 8th, 2021 3:00 PM

By Jackie Keogh

A rainbow appears in the distance, as seen from the Bantry Hospital helipad last week. The hospital clarified this week that it has no paediatricians on staff. (Photo: Andrew Harris)

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BANTRY Hospital manager Carole Croke has clarified that Bantry General Hospital does not have a consultant paediatric service, and that when such services are required, they are provided at Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital and Kerry General Hospital.

The clarification comes following a front page report in last week’s edition, in which a distraught grandfather spoke about how his two-year-old grandchild turned blue on the side of the road as her parents made a dash to the emergency services in Cork, because an ambulance was not available at that time.

The Southern Star sought clarification last week from the hospital’s PR firm in Dublin, regarding the grandfather’s claim that the child could not be admitted to Bantry Hospital to be stabilised before being sent to Cork. The PR firm replied that it could not comment on individual cases, or on the operation of the national ambulance service.

A second query, regarding the grandfather’s claim that he was told the hospital had a policy of not admitting children under the age of five, did not receive a reply.

This week Bantry Hospital manager Carole Croke said it was important that the public were made aware of what services Bantry General Hospital can deliver in a safe and timely manner.

‘The article could result in parents bringing very sick children to this hospital and whom would then have to be transferred to Cork University Hospital for the specialised care necessary,’ she said.

‘Bantry General Hospital does not have a consultant paediatric service available,’ she clarified, adding: ‘There is no paediatrician on staff.’

The hospital manager did, however, point out that the hospital’s local injury unit does accept patients aged five years and upwards for the treatment of minor injuries which are non-life threatening and not likely to require hospital admission.

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