Naughten seeks opening of beds in Portiuncula and Roscommon Hospitals

In Health, News by Denis Naughten

Denis Naughten outside Portiuncula Hospital

Local TD, Denis Naughten has contacted the Minister for Health seeking his urgent intervention to fully open 29 beds to help alleviate the current crisis in the Emergency Department of Portiuncula Hospital.

Denis Naughten has requested that Minister Harris ensure that the staffing is provided to open two 5 day wards so that they operate on a 7 day basis to help deal with the number of patients waiting for a hospital bed in Ballinasloe.

The wards in question are St Clare’s Ward in Portiuncula University Hospital with 12 beds and St Brigid’s Ward in Roscommon University Hospital with 17 beds.

“These 29 beds, if available last weekend would have significantly addressed the problem in Portiuncula Hospital today and approval must be given to have these beds opened and staffed on a 7 day a week basis with immediate effect”.

“I would also appeal to those referred to Portiuncula by their GP to ask if they can be treated in Roscommon Hospital, which is within half an hour of Athlone and within an hours drive of Tuam, Turloughmore, Bullaun & Eyrecourt”.

“Patients should ask GPs if they can have tests or x-rays in Roscommon Hospital rather than spending hours in an emergency department waiting to see a doctor before accessing x-rays or scans,” said Denis Naughten. 

Roscommon’s Injury Unit can treat broken bones, dislocations, sprains, strains, wounds, scalds and minor burns that are unlikely to need admission to hospital. Staff in Roscommon’s Injury Unit perform x-rays, reduce joint dislocations, apply plaster casts and treat wounds by stitches or other means.

Denis Naughten pointed out: “We need to better utilise Roscommon’s injury unit, which can provide for quick diagnosis and discharge back into the community and ensure that people do not have long stays for tests, as is the case in emergency departments”.

“This would also help to take pressure off staff in Portiuncula and ensure that older people and children can access treatment quicker in Ballinasloe” concluded Denis Naughten.


Editors note: copy of correspondence to Minister Harris

Benefit of using Roscommon Injury Unit: 

Public urged to use Roscommon Hospital injury unit for quicker treatment – Naughten



6th January 2020

Dear Minister Harris,

I am writing to you regarding an urgent overcrowding crisis at Portiuncula University Hospital, Ballinasloe, where staff are at their wits end in trying to manage patients waiting on a bed.

During the month of December there was a year on year increase in trollies of a massive 245%, with 242 patients on trollies in Portiuncula.

This significant increase in demand has now continued into January with 18 patients on trollies last Friday and 22 patients waiting today for a hospital bed.

What is hugely frustrating is the fact that there are two 5-day wards which could be operated on a 7 day a week basis to help alleviate the current situation, if staffing was made available.

These wards are St Clare’s Ward in Portiuncula University Hospital with 12 beds and St Brigid’s Ward in Roscommon University Hospital with 17 beds.

These 29 beds operating on a 7 day a week basis would help to alleviate the current crisis, but it would require the appointment of additional nursing and support staff to operate these beds on a 7-day basis.

Furthermore, the appointment of an additional radiographer would help to assist with the diagnosis and discharge of patients from the ED Department in Portiuncula.

I would be most grateful if this issue is treated as a matter of urgency considering the current situation in the Hospital.

Yours sincerely,


Denis Naughten TD


cc Mr. Paul Reid CEO, HSE

Mr. Jim Breslin, Secretary General, Department of Health

Mr. Tony Canavan, CEO Saolta Hospital Group