The health service chief executive tasked with coming up with a plan for Portlaoise hospital has proposed that maternity services can be relocated from Portlaoise and other hospitals to Tullamore.
Dr Susan O'Reilly, Dublin Midland Hospital Group (DMHG) CEO also believes that the only impediments to this are money and planning, and so it must be a long term objective.
Relocation to Tullamore was rumoured before but nothing concrete ever emerged. Dr O'Reilly outlines her views in a letter seen by the Leinster Express dated n September 27th in relation to anaesthetic cover .
“One area for consideration would be the establishment of a single maternity unit in the greater midlands area located at the Midlands Regional Hospital, Tullamore to relocate a number of smaller units in the region.
“In the interim the ongoing development of the CWIUH (Coombe) / MRHP (Portlaoise) Maternity network is essential; however this will also require capital investment on both sites.
“Our intent is to develop the Coombe/Portlaoise solution first as any Tullamore solution requires much more capital investment and long term planning so it is not likely to be achievable for several years,” concludes the letter.
The letter was sent to Dr Colm Henry who is national Clinical Advisor and Group Lead at the Acute Hospital Division at Health Service Executive HQ.
He wrote to Dr Reilly to raise concerns over anaesthetic cover at the maternity unit because it has no dedicated night cover .
Dr O'Reilly has submitted a plan to the Department of Health which is due to be discussed at a high level meeting this week.
“Our focus, as first set-out in 2015, is on developing existing maternity services at Portlaoise on an integrated basis with the Coombe hospital,” said the statement from the DMHG.