HSE had no planning permisison to operate out-of-hours GP clinic

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

HSE had no planning permisison to operate out-of-hours GP clinic

The building which houses the MiDoc GP out-of-hours clinic in Portlaoise.

A unit for GPs to see patients out-of-hours has opened without planning permission in Portlaoise, the HSE has confirmed.

MiDoc moved from St Fintan's Hospital to a new building at the entrance to the campus on the Dublin road in recent weeks.

During working hours, the unit building operates as an addiction treatment centre while out-of-hours it is used by the GP service.

However, planning permission was only granted by Laois County Council for the addiction services.

After a query from the Leinster Express, the HSE confirmed that the application for the new facility on the campus of St Fintan’s Hospital consisted primarily of a new single storey healthcare day centre, to provide treatment and therapy for service users attending the Community Alcohol & Drugs Service in Portlaoise and the surrounding locality. This service is provided by the HSE.

The HSE said that the proposed facility would be available to other services for the treatment of addiction by prior agreement with building management. All of the addiction services are provided on a daily basis Monday – Friday.

“The CADs treatment centre was available every evening and weekends and so it was agreed that the MIDOC services would use the CADS facilities to enhance their existing services and allow them to develop their services as appropriate.

“The Laois Midoc Service has, since the commencement of the service to the present day, operated from within the St Fintan’s Hospital Campus. Since 2006, the activity levels have increased year on year in the Laois treatment centre, with approximately 11,500 attendances in 2006 to just over 17,600 in 2017. Given the significant increase in activity in the centre, the current accommodation was no longer fit for purpose and did not meet the needs of the service.

“Therefore in order to improve the quality of service provided, it was decided to use the opportunity to avail of the purpose-built clinical premises in the CADS facility which is on the same site, within the St Fintan’s Hospital Campus.

“This collaboration supports the Value for Money initiative from an HSE perspective and ensures both departments provide safe and suitable services with appropriate accommodation.

The HSE will be required to submit a planning application for retention of opening hours for the Out of Hours MIDOC Service in the new build shared facility,” concluded the statement.

There are no plans to provide additional car parking at the facility.