Portlaoise hospital action group seeks public opinion and support to revise medics' rescue plan

Lynda Kiernan

Reporter:

Lynda Kiernan

Email:

lynda.kiernan@leinsterexpress.ie

Portlaoise hospital action committee  revising a hospital rescue plan to hand to Minister

Midlands Regional Hospital Portlaoise

Portlaoise Hospital Action Committee has today announced that it is revising the local doctors' plan to save the hospital's services.

The Laois group is working with the medics who wrote the rescue plan, and will hold public consultations on it, before presenting the revised plan to Health Minister Simon Harris.

The medic's plan ‘The Future of Acute Services at MRH Portlaoise: The Local Stakeholder Perspective’, shows how all services at the hospital can continue and thrive.

The action committee has engaged a professional plan writer and is going to involve the public in the revision of the plan.

Committee Secretary is John Hanniffy.

"We have liaised and consulted with a professional plan writer who has an expertise in the
production of such documents.  Unlike the failed HSE report, we wished to invest in a process which would produce the highest quality consultation document and we intend to present it to the Minister for Health for his consideration," he said.

“Unlike O’Reilly’s team, we have attempted to live out the ‘Dublin Midland Hospital Group’ values of ‘trust through openness and transparency’; open and honest communication; respect; and empowerment of the public to participate in their care through consultation”.

The committee will follow a step by step consultation process to ensure the public are involved in the revision of the local doctors' plan.

Before the end of March, they intend to share this revised consultation document with wider stakeholders including local political representatives.

In April, they will invite stakeholders to give feedback, to be analysed and used to "validate and/or improve" the plan. 

PRO Eimear Holland said that stakeholders will then be invited to a consultation event to read the final re-drafted plan. 

"On the back of these processes, we aim to present the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and the Department of Health with an evidence informed plan, which has been produced based on meaningful consultation with multi-stakeholder groups," she said.

They are holding church gate collections in Portlaoise Parish next weekend, March 24 and 25, to fund the process, at The Heath, Ratheniska and Portlaoise Church masses.

"We would be very grateful if you could could give as generously as you can to this life enhancing and life saving cause. We are so very aware of and grateful for the different ways people have helped to date, giving up their valuable time. However, to take the advocacy work to the next level, investment in our plan is necessary. We thank you in advance for your kind support," said Ms Holland.