Vaccination day one at Portlaoise hospital
The HSE's Dublin Midland Hospital Group (DMHG) has thanked staff and the community in a statement in which it delivers an update on how Portlaoise hospital has and continues to respond nearly a year into the Covid-19 pandemic.
It says that in late February 2020, NPHET reported the first Irish case of COVID-19, the gravity of which was not appreciated or fully understood. However, it said hospitals responded.
"All hospitals mobilised very quickly to shore up capacity, redeploy and re-prioritise. This was done at an extraordinary pace, flexibility and resilience. Services were adapted and the unknown was truly embraced in one of the most extraordinary difficult years for Irish health services," said the DMHG.
It said the pressure has been back on due to the third wave but this has been met by staff and community.
"The recent surge of cases in January again posed the most immense challenges but the planning, foresight and adaptability and again resilience of our Hospitals, including the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise, ensured the readiness of the services to respond. Thankfully, community transmission is reducing but at a much slower pace.
"The Hospital Group and the Midland Regional Hospital Portlaoise would like to acknowledge the commitment and dedication of all staff at Portlaoise hospital. In addition, we would like to acknowledge the support of the community of Portlaoise and throughout the county of Laois," it said.
The statement also provided an insight into where services stand given that a plan exists to downgrade Portlaoise hospital.
"The provision of safe, sustainable and effective health services is fundamental to the delivery of health services. The Dublin Midlands Hospital Group has been working to integrate and align hospitals across the group and with our community partners. We are committed to building and maintaining stable and resilient acute hospital services for our patient population and are doing so in accordance with the national health care policy, Sláinte Care.
"Significant work has been undertaken since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic including the introduction of virtual clinics, integration with our community partners, building strong relationship which are benefiting staff and patients.
"Outreach and collaborative working to support nursing homes and the provision of additional step down, transitional care in the planned utilisation of Abbeyleix Community Hospital are just some examples of the developments that have and are occurring during this time.
"In addition, MRHP were able to successfully configure a combined ICU/ CCU, providing more appropriate capacity with additional equipment. A new respiratory assessment unit and additional staffing is also being planned.
"In addition, the mobilisation of group-wide support across and within hospitals to safely and appropriately transfer ICU patients in the peak of the surge all testify to the progressive and strengthening of everyone’s work to build and stabilise services across the Hospital Group and with our community partners," concluded the statement.