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09 Dec 2021

Under pressure Portlaoise A&E and maternity raised with Sinn Féin's health spokesman

Laois visit featured meetings with hospital staff, management and health workers in community

sinn Féin

Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley and David Cullinan visit the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise A&E

Pressure on the Emergency Department and expansion of the maternity unit were among the issues raised by frontline staff at meetings in Portlaoise hospital with Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health, David Cullinane TD.

The TD has visited Laois for a series of meetings and discussions with patients, staff and unions about the future of the health service.

Dep Cullinane said he was delighted to have visited Laois on Monday, October 19 as as part of my tour of the island to hear about experiences of the healthcare system.

“I visited Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, where I met with hospital management to discuss access to care and concerns about capacity. We particularly discussed how Emergency Department attendances are currently high. We discussed the importance of expanding maternity services and ensuring more beds are put in place to meet requirements.

“I met with representatives of the Irish Nurses and Midwives’ Organisation to hear about their experiences of working on the frontline in Laois. I paid tribute to the extraordinary work that nurses and midwives are doing in very challenging circumstances.

“It is clear that there are many challenges in recruitment and in retaining staff. Burnout is a real challenge for staff, especially as those on the frontline face into a difficult winter. It is clear that we need to train more nurses and increase capacity, to ensure that nurses have the resources necessary to meet these challenges," he said.

The Waterford TD also met with people on the frontline in the community.

“I was grateful to have the opportunity to meet with Beth Wogan from Carers Ireland in Laois yesterday. We discussed the incredibly important role that carers play across the country and the need for this role to be better recognised and better supported. In particular we discussed the considerable difference that the Crisis Fund is making for carers. It is important that this fund needs to be made permanent, with sustainable funding, to ensure that it is deliverable into the future.

“It is clear that change is needed in our health service in order to meet the needs of patients, carers and staff. We need to see targeted investment in key areas in order to secure the capacity needed to bring about these reforms.

“Sinn Féin in government would deliver the change needed to ensure we have a health service that works. In my Alternative Budget for Health last month, I set out my detailed plans showing exactly how these changes can happen, how they can be delivered and how they will be funded,” he said.

Dep Cullinane concluded by thanking all the groups who took the time to meet with him in Laois.

 

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