New contract to cure hospital ills

uhlby Bernie English

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A NEW Emergency Department to cure the ills of the University Hospital in Dooradoyle came a step closer this week, with the awarding of a contract for the fit-out and completion of the facility.

However it now seems likely that the original delivery date of 2016 will not be met.

The existing emergency department has made headlines for all the wrong reasons in recent times, with regular overcrowding and patients facing marathon wait times on trolleys for admission.

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A public works contract has been awarded to John Sisk & Son Holdings for the fit-out and completion of the new emergency department and also for the delivery of a new 24-bed dialysis unit. The company has already begun setting up on site.

The estimated combined cost of both projects comes to around €25 million and it’s expected they will take approximately 18 months to complete.

The new emergency department will be located on the ground floor of both the critical care block and the adjacent extension and will be three times the size of the current emergency department.

A new state-of-the-art new dialysis unit will be provided on the first floor of the extension block on the same floor level as the hospitals new intensive care unit. The unit is being supported by the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust with support from the JP McManus Pro-Am Committee.

It is expected to be up and running within 12 months, with the emergency department taking longer due to the number of phases involved and the logistics of the works, including having to power down to install electrics while keeping vital supplies going to the critical care block and the existing operating theatre and paediatric blocks at the hospital.

UL Hospitals Group chief executive Professor Colette Cowan said that the new emergency department was designed with the comfort of patients very much in mind.

“It will mean a much improved patient experience in terms of access and their journey through the hospital. It will also mean more dignity and privacy for our patients, who will be treated in pod-like facilities where they will get specialist care”.

While acknowledging that the original target opening date of the end of 2016 for the emergency department may not be met, Prof Cowan said it was important to plan such a complex project properly.

“We had hoped to open by the end of 2016 but these things can sometimes take a bit longer than planned”.