Promises have been made that Portlaoise’s hospital has a vital future, with no staff cuts and extra emergency doctors promised by the HSE.
In a meeting with senior clinicians and management of Portlaoise hospital on Monday July 28, Dr Tony O’Connell, national director of the HSE’s Acute Hospitals Division assured them of a vital future within the Dublin Midlands Hospital Grouping of six hospitals.
“Dr O’Connell emphasised that there is no intention to reduce staff numbers at the hospital and discussed additional resources that will be put in place in order to better support and develop MRHP into the future,” the HSE stated following the meeting.
To ensure an appropriate and safe service for patients at Portlaoise, extra money has been allocated to the emergency department, to take on an advanced nurse practitioner, an emergency physician and an additional physician.
“Furthermore the consultant input to the emergency department is to be clarified,” the HSE said.
More stringent plans are to be put in place to detect early deterioration of patients across all wards, while a patient’s “journey” through the emergency department, intensive care, acute medicine, maternity or surgery, are all to be examined and redesigned, “in order to ensure that staff feel supported and that patients receive optimal care”.
Stronger partnerships are to be forged between Portlaoise and larger hospitals in the Dublin Midlands Group. The group includes St James’s Hospital, Tallaght Hospital, the Coombe Womens & Infants University Hospital, Naas General Hospital and the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore. A partnership will also be developed with the children’s hospital group.
A “proposed re-configuration of services” at Portlaoise must have regard for the overall delivery of services” the HSE said.
Minister Charlie Flanagan said the grouping is “to the benefit of the people of Laois”.
“My concern is there be a high degree of specialist healthcare services available to the people of Laois. The good name of the hospital needs to be restored, we need to acknowledge the very high level of commitment of staff,” he said.