Portlaoise hospital management and staff at the recently completed enhanced mortuary
It's been a year of progress at Portlaoise hospital according to Sean Fleming TD and Minister of State who has praised staff for their response to Covid-19.
The minister at the Department of Finance firstly thanked all staff and for their 'outstanding work' over the past year during the COVID crisis.
"Staff went above and beyond the call of duty in ensuring patients and people who use the hospital were looked after to the highest standard," he said.
The Fianna Fail TD spoke about 2021 as a year of "progress" at the Laois hospital.
"It was good to see plans for the extension to the Portlaoise Paediatric Unit along with the construction of a new Respiratory Assessment Unit progressing well . Planning permission had been submitted to Laois County Council for both projects.
"I also welcomed the appointment of an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) in Cardiology in Portlaoise Hospital to improve patient access and continuity of care for heart failure patients.
"Additional clinical and admin accommodation, AMHU anti-ligature works, provision of nine isolation units and reconfiguration of the maternity ward have also been funded.
"A new family facility centre and viewing room has also been provided for families of loved ones who have sadly passed away.
"All of this is in addition to the ongoing work in the Outpatients Department in the hospital.
"This is an absolute vote of confidence in our hospital in Portlaoise," he said.
The Fianna Fail minister also addressed the as yet to be resolved future of the Emergency Department.
"I want to confirm my ongoing commitment to the 24/7 Accident and Emergency Department in the hospital. The A&E Department is vital for the future development of Portlaoise Hospital and it is a number one priority.
"I have spoken in person with the Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly T.D. stressing the importance of the A&E Department in Portlaoise and the futility of progressing the incompetent, outdated and uncosted report on the A&E Department written by a previous HSE manager.
"This report was flawed from day one and made no adequate provision for the tens of thousands of people who rely on the A&E Department in the hospital in Portlaoise. This report should never see the light of day.
"I have highlighted this to the Minister and I look forward to a successful conclusion to my work on behalf of the people of Laois and surrounding areas who rely on full A&E services in Portlaiose," he concluded.
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