A meeting between local elected public representative and the HSE is to be held after it emerged that ambulances had to travel from Birr and Carlow to deal with a fatal road traffic accident which occurred just a mile from Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise.
At the Regional Health Forum Dublin – Mid Leinster last week, Cllr Kathleen O’Brien had a motion calling for the HSE to ‘re-evaluate its ambulance service operating in Laois and in Portlaoise Regional Hospital’.
Cllr O’Brien said when the accident in question occurred, one ambulance from Laois was dealing with a situation in Kildare while a second ambulance normally provided as cover in Laois was not available as an employee was out on long-term sick leave.
“The ambulance service is grossly under-resourced. I wouldn’t like to see something like that happen again,” she said. Two ambulances should be on duty at the hospital all the time, she added. In a written reply to Cllr O’Brien’s motion, William Merriman, area operations manager for HSE National Ambulance Service sought to reassure people in relation to concerns over reduced levels of ambulance cover at certain stations.