12 extra beds for Tullamore hospital, none for Portlaoise but GPs to get extra diagnostic equipment

Lynda Kiernan


Lynda Kiernan



Portlaoise hospital

The HSE has committed to opening a dozen extra acute hospital beds for Tullamore hospital to ease overcrowding of the Emergency department there, in coming weeks.

None will be added in Portlaoise, which had even higher numbers awaiting a bed this week.

This morning the trolley crisis has eased in Portlaoise, with two people currently on trolleys awaiting a hospital bed, according to the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation's Trolley Watch.

There are currently 12 on trolleys in Tullamore hospital, with 395  awaiting a bed nationwide.

Last Tuesday January 3 Portlaoise had 42 people on trolleys, the second highest in Ireland that day, when the crisis hit the highest peak, at 612 patients awaiting beds. That day Tullamore had 41, as did St Luke's in Kilkenny, the nearest hospitals to Portlaoise.

The beds in Tullamore are part of a raft of 63 Acute beds nationwide which the HSE announced yesterday, following a meeting with Minister for Health Simon Harris.

It will also open 60 Transitional Care beds nationwide immediately, for patients awaiting their nursing home applications to be completed, which will free up Acute beds.

Portlaoise GPs will however get additional diagnostic services such as Ultra-sound and X-ray, through existing private providers, along with Wexford, Waterford, Limerick and Letterkenny.

The HSE will also introduce enhanced discharge processes between hospitals, while some private hospitals, including in Kilkenny, have been identified to support public hospitals immediately.

A re-run of the Influenza vaccine campaign will commence from 6th January to improve vaccine uptake for the ‘at risk’ group.

People are urged to get the flu vaccine from their GP, and anyone with the vomiting bug is asked to stay away from all healthcare facilities.