Portlaoise and other hospitals 'cannot operate' at 100% due to Covid-19 risk

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Hospitals like Portlaoise and its sister facilities in Dublin and the midlands will not be able to operate at full capacity as heretofore and at the same time prevent the spread of Covid-19 according to the HSE.

Trevor O’Callaghan is CEO of Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG) which includes the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise. Naas, Tullamore, Tallaght, St James's and the Coombe are also in the DMHG.

“More than 3,000 people have attended our hospitals as of May 5. This is an increase of 5.2%. All hospitals are responding to increasing numbers of presentations through the ED (A&E), returning to normal workloads and considering how this will be supported via available technologies, utilising our private hospitals and working with our community partners for support with managing patients with chronic illnesses.

“On 27 March 2020, in light of the significant public health threat posed by COVID-19, a decision was taken by government to curtail non-essential health services.

“We are engaging with the HSE nationally and private hospitals to plan for increasing safely our activity within our hospital sites and at private hospitals.

“There is emerging evidence that people are fearful of attending health services. This planning process will be fully informed by hospitals and their clinicians and be guided by the national clinical evidence that is available to us.

“What is clear is that we cannot operate at close to 100% capacity in the public system if we are to protect patients from transmission. Furthermore, we need to continue to protect critical care capacity to address on-going COVID-19 requirements in whatever plan we agree to implement.

“These next few weeks will be crucial for us all to plan for the remainder of the year,” he said.

Mr O'Callaghan also gave an update on the PPE supply line.

“With regard to PPE, following significant engagement and support with hospitals we have managed to supplement our HSE supply lines through additional sources of supply chain to ensure our hospitals have the appropriate level of supply over the coming weeks,” he said.