Portiuncla Hospital

  • The major overspend on the new National Children's Hospital has cast doubt over the future viability of a number of capital health projects in the Roscommon-Galway region.

    That's according to local Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy, who's concerned that commitments made in relation to the building of a 50-bed unit at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon and a new unit at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe might be put on the back burner.

    The €17 million euro development at Portiuncla Hospital would see the construction of a new 50-bed unit, while the Sacred Heart Hospital project in Roscommon - which was announced before the 2016 general election - is not now scheduled for completion until 2022.

    Deputy Eugene Murphy has questioned Tanaiste Simon Coveney in relation to the overspend on the new Children's Hospital, and what that will mean for these capital projects in the West.

    Minister Coveney said it's the Government's intention that any project that has a financial commitment will be delivered, but it's about the scheduling of that delivery.

    Deputy Murphy says this response concerns him, as the commitments made to these major capital projects need to be honoured....

  • The HSE has confirmed that no Trauma patients are now being accepted at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    From the start of April, a major trauma bypass protocol has been in place in relation to Portiuncla, which means that trauma patients are being brought directly to University Hospital Galway or Tullamore Hospital.

    Roscommon-Galway Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy claims this is a downgrading of Portiuncla Hospital, and says that when the A & E unit in Roscommon was closed, a commitment was given that Portiuncla would be the local emergency hospital for trauma cases.

    Deputy Murphy says this recent decision also puts further pressure on ambulance services in Roscommon in relation to turnaround times....

  • A report into maternity services at Portiuncula University Hospital has identified multiple serious failures - including staffing issues, a lack of training and poor communication among maternity staff.

    The long-delayed report, which was commissioned in January 2015, examined the delivery and neonatal care of 18 babies at the Galway hospital.

    Some of the babies died while others were left with life-long disabilities.

    The review team was chaired by Professor James Walker of Leeds University.

    The report is being published this evening in Ballinasloe, and, according to the Irish Times, it states that different management of obstetric care might have made a difference in 14 out of the 18 cases examined.

    Several cases involved failures to recognise pre-natal signs that there may be a problem with the birth including abnormal foetal heartbeats.

    There were also failures to expedite the delivery of the babies in several cases where potential problems were identified.

    The report says there was an understaffing of both midwives and consultants at the hospital “resulting in a lack of support in the acute area”.

    The report also identified several communication issues both internally between staff and between the hospital and families.

    The HSE apologised for the delay in issuing the report which was originally due in mid-2015.

    Prof Walker said the report is not about attributing blame but that staff and national agencies must accept their responsibilities for the incidents involved and for the solutions.

    He said that, since the start of the investigation, Portiuncula Hospital has begun to address many of the issues raised, and that significant progress has been made in this regard.



  • The long-awaited independent review of maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital will be published this evening in Ballinasloe.

    The review got underway after several women experienced adverse perinatal events at the Portiuncula maternity unit.

    Professor James Walker, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Leeds chaired the Clinical Review Team, which was expected to conclude its report in 5 months, but it has taken three years to bring the review to the public.

    The findings will be revealed at a press briefing in Ballinasloe at 5.30 this evening.



  • A row has broken out among two election candidates in Roscommon-Galway over the future of services at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe.

    Independent candidate Denis Naughten claims the Saolta Hospital Group is planning to close the A& E and maternity services at Portiuncla Hospital and relocate them to a new hospital on the grounds of Merlin Park in Galway.

    Plans are being developed for a new model 4 hospital on the grounds of Merlin Park Hospital, which would provide 24 / 7 acute surgery, acute medicine and critical care for counties Galway and Roscommon.

    Deputy Naughten says that, in reality, this means all in-patient surgery for Galway and Roscommon will be carried out at the Merlin Park site, and both the emergency and maternity departments currently based at Portiuncla Hospital will be relocated to the Merlin Park site also.

    However, FG's candidate in Roscommon-Galway Aisling Dolan insists there is NO plan to transfer maternity or A&E services from Portiuncla Hospital elsewhere.

    Councillor Dolan has received confirmation from the Saolta Group that the long-term plan is for a new hospital on the Merlin Park site to meet future demand for services.

    Plans to progress a new Emergency Department at the University Hospital Galway site will continue also, with new Women's and Children's Units on the upper floors of the new building, which will allow the transfer of services in existing facilities on the UHG siteto this building.

    The Saolta group says these developments will have no impact on the services currently provided in Portiuncla and Roscommon University Hospitals.


  • The new 50-bed ward at Portiuncla Hospital in Ballinasloe has now gone out to tender, and construction should get underway this year.

    That's according to Taoiseach Leo Varadker who has reaffirmed his party's commitment to the Co Galway hospital.

    During a visit to Ballinasloe in recent days where he canvassed with local FG candidate Aisling Dolan, Mr Varadker said Portiuncla Hospital will be upgraded, with the provision of a new building to accommodate 50 beds now in the tender phase for enabling works....