'Top notch' staff and care at Portlaoise hospital says New Year's mum

Michelle Hogan

Reporter:

Michelle Hogan

'Top notch' staff and care at Portlaoise hospital for New Year's mum

Kate and Gary O'Donnell , Kildare Town, pictured with their son , Paddy -born at 5.05 pm , weighing 8. lbs. on New Years Day at the Midlands Regional Hospital , Portlaoise . Photo: Michael Scully.

The staff and level of care at Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise's maternity unit 'couldn't be better' according to the mum of the first baby born there in 2018.

PICTURES: Baby Patrick (Paddy) O'Donnell is the first baby born at 'top notch' Portlaoise hospital in 2018.

Kate O'Donnell from Kildare town is a nurse herself and has previously lived in London for 15 years.

Kate gave birth to two of her children in London, but has since moved back to Ireland.

Kate and her husband Gary decided to have their third baby in Portlaoise hospital based on a recommendation from their GP and because it was close to their home in Kildare.

Describing the level of care she received during her time in hospital, Kate said it was “top notch.”

She gave birth to a baby boy, Paddy at 5.05pm on New Year's Day.

Just one day after giving birth Kate and baby Paddy were in good form and she said that the staff “couldn't be better” in the maternity unit.

Prior to her maternity leave, Kate worked as a community nurse with the public health nurse team at the Vista Clinic in Naas.

This high praise from the experienced nurse and Kildare mum comes after Portlaoise hospital maternity unit was recently boosted by a new specialist scanning service for pregnant women.

Portlaoise hospital maternity unit recently became one of the first in the country outside Dublin to offer specialist foetal anomaly scanning to pregnant women.

The Leinster Express understands that the scanning service became operational on December 19.

The service is to be provided to all women at the 20 week stage so that problems and abnormalities can be diagnosed or ruled out earlier than regular ultrasounds.

Before the link was established between the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin no such scanning was provided in the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise or in many other hospitals.

Once the link was created between the two hospitals, women were offered the service in the Dublin hospital at a cost of €160.

Laois GP Dr Michelle Byrne welcomed the news.

“It is good news for the hospital and patients. This service is not offered at many hospitals around the country and it should be,” she said.

The Irish Maternal Foetal Foundation says that while the vast majority of babies are healthy, all women, whatever their age, have a small chance of delivering a baby with a physical or a mental problem. It says many such abnormalities can be diagnosed and ruled out with the foetal anomaly scan.

COMMENT: Hospital overcrowding at chronic level.