Senator Aisling Dolan - Strong Voice, New Vision.

New 50 bed ward block planned opening August/September

March 26, 2024

New 50 bed ward block planned opening August/September

I was delighted to receive an update from Saolta and general manager James Keane on developments at Portiuncula Hospital.

Over 65% reduction in waiting lists in the cardiology area is a real measure of the importance of new consultants, advanced nurse practitioners and cardio physiologists working with people in their home as well as Portiuncula hospital. This means supporting people with cardiovascular, heart problems and it means longer and healthier lives for people in the West.

Over 30,000 people attended Portiuncula University Hospital Emergency Department last year and the challenge is we are probably the only hospital in the Saolta group who haven’t had any work done to our ED. I invited the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to meet with the senior clinical team at Portiuncula Hospital last February 2023 and he had the opportunity for a tour of ED and to hear of the challenges with lack of space from the consultants and nursing teams as well as patients. We need more beds in ED and this will ensure that there is space for ambulances, paediatrics and medical assessment unit. I’ve worked with Minister Donnelly and the Taoiseach’s office last year to ensure the ED expansion plan was included in the HSE Capital Plan for an ED extension and now we need to see this move to the construction stage. There has been a surge in recent weeks in ED especially with high numbers on trolleys and older patients 75+

A new consultant geriatrician will also join the team in Portiuncula in May who will be working 50% in the community and 50% in the hospital and support the work of the frailty teams. We want to see older people receiving care at home where possible and avoiding a stay in hospital with all the right supports.

I’m always delighted to see more people living in the West and Portiuncula maternity was playing it’s part bringing 1,300 babies into the world. The midwifery team is also participating in a national pilot on enhanced post-natal care.

Many people can now see the new 50 bed ward block building on the hospital grounds. In 2019, I secured a meeting with Minister Simon Harris, then Minister for Health and the clinical management team in Portiuncula where funding was allocated to a 50 bed ward block. These new single beds en-suite will be an incredible addition to the hospital for patients and their families in terms of infection control, dignity, privacy especially at end of life.  

Portiuncula Hospital general manager James Keane indicated in this update that the ground floor is now completed and doing final work on the upper floor. This fantastic development will be fully complete in April and a planned opening in August and September.

This is the largest development and multi-million euro investment in our hospital for decades. Our hospital is growing with over 1,000 healthcare staff and it is the hospital for over 400,000 people in our region including Athlone area. This is an incredible development for Portiuncula University Hospital for the people of Ballinasloe, Galway, Roscommon, Westmeath, Offaly and North Tipperary”