Recruitment of doctors will be a serious issue for services in Portlaoise and other small hospitals, according to the senior HSE manager who led the investigation into the maternity unit.
Dr Susan O’Reilly, chief executive of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, declined to be drawn on the status of the plan she has drawn up for the hospital. She did, however, say that services faced issues.
“Challenges recruiting consultants and junior doctors to small volume services, in particular small hospitals, is a serious issue and it is far broader than maternity.
All she would say of her plan for the hospital was that it had been drawn up with eight national clinical leads and has been submitted to the Department of Health.
It is widely speculated to have recommended the downgrade and removal of A&E, ICU and other services.
She said management is satisfied that the level of education, training and staffing at the maternity unit was “excellent.”
She said there are capital applications for an extended ambulatory (outpatients) facility and other general services in Portlaoise.