The HSE says that links between the Portlaoise maternity unit and the Coombe Hospital are established and the Dublin hospital is not asked to take any extra general referrals.
The HSE issued a statement responding to the INMO claims that the Coombe is already understaffed and may not be able to cope with high risk referrals.
“Portlaoise Hospital already has a strong relationship with the Coombe Hospital and there is a long history of clinical cooperation between the two hospitals. As a tertiary centre the Coombe takes referrals from many other maternity units, particularly where there are specific risks associated with the cases.
“At this point in time the Coombe is not being asked to take general referrals from Portlaoise over and above what has been happening up to now.
“The HSE greatly appreciates the fact that the Coombe has facilitated the secondment of a senior member of their staff to take up the role of Director of Midwifery at Portlaoise,” concluded the statement.
One of the key recommendations in the Holohan report is that Portlaoise become part of a managed clinical network under the single governance of The Coombe Women and Infant University Hospital.