Portlaoise hospital staff concern over coronavirus guidance from HSE

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

coronavirus covid-19

Coronavirus / Covid-19 advice sought be staff

Staff at the Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise are understood to be concerned that they are not getting sufficient guidance from the HSE about the coronavirus Covid-19.

The Leinster Express understands that staff have reservations over the lack of direction from health authorities about their own individual roles and how the hospital's services are to deployed during an escalation of the outbreak locally and nationally.

Portlaoise hospital has an A&E and ICU which may be deployed to treat a patient with Covid-19.

One medical source said there had been "no briefing" and "very little info" for staff about the hospital's role in the Covid-19 outbreak.  While no cases have been confirmed at the Laois hospital, the source added that this was "disappointing and worrying". 

The Laois hospital is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which includes St James, Tallaght, the Coombe and St Lukes in Dublin as well as Naas General and the Midlands Regional Hospital Tullamore.

A spokesperson for the HSE's DMHG issued the following statement in reply.

"Hospitals within the DMHG are following the infection control guidelines issued by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. These guidelines outline the algorithm’s to follow in healthcare settings. In preparation for patients presenting with a suspected case of COVID-19, Hospitals have preparedness plans and these are being managed and reviewed on an ongoing basis.  

"The HSE and the Department of Health are not providing information about individual activations of preparedness plans or about individual cases of Covid-19 (coronavirus) other than confirmed cases.

"The approach which has been taken to date in Ireland is in line with guidance from the WHO and ECDC," said the statment. 

The statement added that websites are being updated daily for the latest information about Covid-19. 

•             HSE website www.hse.ie/coronavirus

•             HPSC website which is updated at 1pm daily https://www.hpsc.ie/a-z/ respiratory/coronavirus/ novelcoronavirus/  

•             Department of Health website https://www.gov.ie/en/ campaigns/c36c85-covid-19- coronavirus/

Visitor restrictions are in place at all of the Dublin Midlands Hospitals.