Staff despondent at lack of good news

The staff at Portlaoise General Hospital are despondent at the lack of good news at Portlaois Hospital, according to a Portlaoise Town Councillor.

The staff at Portlaoise General Hospital are despondent at the lack of good news at Portlaois Hospital, according to a Portlaoise Town Councillor.

Cllr Matthew Keegan said Portlaoise’s status as a level three hospital had recently been confirmed.

“This is significant for the hospital, but it went under the radar,” Cllr Keegan said.

“The hospital and the staff are thrilled. No other similar size hospital got the same status.

“Recently the staff have become despondent about the lack of good news about the hospital.”

Cllr Keegan said the hospital had a “massive” budget of €45million, which was similar to that of the national maternity hospital in Holles Street.

He told the meeting that there were 550-600 staff employed in the 150 bed hospital and approximately 2,5000 babies were born there every year.

He said the CT scanner would able to be open 24 hours a day by the end of the year.

“The local TD’s deserve credit for this, they have kept it to the fore all the time.

“Brian Stanley done everything he could from the opposition benches, as did Sean Fleming.

“Charlie Flanagan put his reputation on the line for the hospital. It was one of the main reasons the hospital was saved,” the Fine Gael councillor said.

“It’s vital to the local area and the level three status is a tremendous achievement.

“For years the hospital have been looking for extra funding for the maternity. The future of the hospital always seemed uncertain, but now that is secured there should be a clear path to funding.

Cllr Caroline Dwane said the new maternity ward was vital.

“Not enough praise is given to the hospital,” Cllr Kathleen O’Brien said.

While Cllr Tom Jacob said the staff went beyond the call of duty to keep the hospital going.

“It’s one of the finest hosptials in the country. I’ve never had one complaint about it. But politicians use it as a political football at times,” Cllr Willie Aird said.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said that capital funding was needed for a new maternity unit, as she said the staff were under pressure.