Busy Christmas for hospitals

PORTLAOISE hospital A&E and ambulances crews had a busy Christmas, according the Health Service Executive.

PORTLAOISE hospital A&E and ambulances crews had a busy Christmas, according the Health Service Executive.

A spokesperson for the HSE said this was expected due to the adverse weather conditions during the month of December.

The ambulance service were particularly busy in December, and the HSE said that all calls were answered during the busy period. Call outs during the ice and snow often required that help of support of other statutory and voluntary agencies including the Civil Defence, Irish Defence Forces, Order of Malta and many others.

"The HSE is grateful to all of these agencies for their help and support," a spokesperson said.

Last week the National Ambulance Service Representative Association criticised the HSE for not properly equipping crews Derek O'Rourke, is its National Secretary, "This is a totally unacceptable situation, we had Ambulances not able to get out of stations because of a failure on the part of management to foresee these issues, you would think after last year's snowfall they would at least have made provision for following years and the possibility of another artic winter," he said.