Wexford hospital emergency department to reopen next month following fire last March

Wexford General Hospital’s emergency department is to reopen next month following a major fire in March.

The HSE has confirmed that the hospital’s emergency department (ED) will reopen on July 25th. The ED was forced to close on March 1st due to the damaging large parts of the facility.

It was feared the hospital would close its ED for much longer.

Linda O’Leary, Wexford General Hospital manager, said that it is “great” to have a date for the ED reopening.

Ms O’Leary explained: “A lot of work from our staff has gone into getting to this point but it’s important to be clear, we still have six weeks to go until the ED opens. We have a huge body of work ahead of us. We’re on the home straight now though. We just need to get the work done and be ready for July 25.”


However, while the ED service will be reinstated, the hospital will not have returned to full bed capacity which will result in greater pressure on the ED service when it reopens, according to a statement from the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG).

“It is expected that full bed capacity will be returned in the coming weeks, certainly by the end of August,” the statement added.

Hospitals in the south-east of the country including University Hospital Waterford and St Luke’s General Hospital have been dealing with additional emergency patients from Wexford since March.

Builders have been working at Wexford General Hospital for the last three months following the blaze at the 280 bed facility which resulted in the largest medical evacuation in the history of the State.

Hospital general manager Linda O’Leary outside Wexford General Hospital. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Images

More than 200 patients along with hospital staff were evacuated from the medical facility and brought to hospitals across the south-east, Dublin, Cork and Navan.

Senior assistant chief fire officer Ray Murphy following the fire being successfully extinguished said that a piece of machinery is most likely the cause of the fire in a plant room on the roof.

Mr Murphy said the scale of the damage was “medium to small” and was confined to a small part of the hospital confined to one wing.

The quick thinking of staff and emergency services, of which 75 firefighters from across the county and Waterford averted the loss of life and injuries, was praised by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, Health Minister Stephen and Housing Minister Darragh O’Brien, who has responsibility for the fire services.

The Taoiseach visited the hospital in the aftermath of the blaze and committed to providing Government aid in rebuilding the damaged wing of the hospital.