The HSE are now recruiting more staff for the maternity unit at the Midlands Regional Hospital in Portlaoise, despite budgetary cuts in 2014.
The hospital has advertised ‘immediate’ permanent and temporary vacancies for a Clinical Midwife Manager, three Midwife Shift Leaders, midwives, a staff nurse or midwife for the Special Care Baby Unit, and a Lactation Specialist.
In a letter to local TD Charlie Flanagan, Health Minister Dr James Reilly said that the HSE is recruiting such staff because there is an urgent service requirement in Portlaoise.
“Certain services such as maternity are demand-led and require specialist staffing.
“Arrangements are in place in the HSE to allow the recruitment of such staff where it has been established that there is an urgent service requirement,” he wrote.
Deputy Flanagan met with Minister Reilly and senior officials of the HSE and hospital management last week in an attempt to restore and rebuild the public’s confidence in the quality of maternity care at the hospital.
He acknowledged the commitment of the hardworking staff at the hospital, stressing that the unit must not continue to be the victim of bad publicity.
“I am determined to ensure that the good name and reputation of the hospital is maintained and enhanced,” Deputy Flanagan said.
Local TD Sean Fleming was pleased to hear that the HSE was appointimg the new staff.
“These new posts are very welcome and we hope that the new staff can be in place as soon as possible.
“This is the first step in the HSE correcting some of its wrongs that it presided over in Portlaoise,” he said.
Deputy Fleming is again calling for an independent investigation by HIQA, in the aftermath of the revelations about the tragic deaths of four babies in the maternity unit.
“Expectant mothers should have full confidence that they will receive the best care in the world when they go into Portlaoise.
“No investigation by the HSE or officials in the Department of Health is remotely acceptable, as these are the very people who concealed and covered up these tragic events for years,” he said.