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Hospital staff warned not to reveal 'maternity unit closure until after elections', TD claims

The HSE had earlier moved to downplay fears that a review of maternity services could result in closures.

Updated at 10.40am

A TD HAS claimed that staff at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe were “warned” not to reveal the closure of maternity services at the hospital under after upcoming elections.

Earlier this morning, the HSE moved to downplay fears that maternity units in west and north west regions could be closed under a wide-ranging review of services.

In a post on his Facebook page, Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan claims that that senior staff were informed in an email not to disclose that the unit was to close.

PastedImage-9728 Source: Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland earlier, the HSE’s Chief Operating Officer for the West/North West Hospital Group Tony Canavan said that closing a hospital is just one option on the agenda.

“This is about trying to make services better,” Canavan said.

“No decisions have been made on the downgrading of any facilities”

A leaked report, seen by the programme, suggested that four maternity units in either Ballinasloe, Letterkenny, Sligo or Mayo could be closed.

However, this is just one of six options being considered, with one being taking no action, but four suggested that the maternity unit in Ballinasloe’s Portiuncula Hospital be closed.

The report follows recommendations from HIQA last year for a national review of maternity services.

Canavan stressed that the results of this review in the West/North West region must feed into a review of services in a national context.

Originally published 9.28am

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Nicky Ryan

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