Business as usual for babies as building begins at maternity hospital

University Maternity Hospital Limerick

WORK started this week on the second phase of the extension of the Neonatal Unit at University Maternity Hospital Limerick.

But it’s business as usual for babies and families in the Midwest for the expected 12-month duration of the construction works.

The second phase of the project includes the upgrade of the existing Intensive Care and High Dependency Units. A new area for the Special Care Unit is also being provided as well as additional single en suite family rooms.

The work will expand the physical space and greatly improve the facilities and infrastructure for babies and their families. It will also help to avoid crowding and reduce the chances of infection outbreaks.

It follows the completion last year of the first phase of this project. Phase one involved building a two-storey extension to accommodate staff and parents’ facilities which had been located in the existing Neonatal Unit, creating the opportunity to refurbish and expand cot spaces during the second stage of the works.

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Phase one houses parents’ accommodation, a new lactation centre to support breastfeeding, and a clinical engineering unit, as well as support facilities for neonatal nurses, doctors, allied health professionals, and secretarial teams.

The Neonatal Unit is situated on the ground floor of the University Maternity Hospital Limerick. It is a 19-cot unit comprising the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, a High Dependency Unit, and a Special Care Baby Unit.

The two-phase neonatal refurbishment project is one of a number of initiatives being undertaken to improve services at UMHL, pending the eventual relocation of the maternity hospital from its stand-alone city centre site on the Ennis Road to the University Hospital Limerick (UHL) campus in Dooradoyle.

The Neonatal Unit is a secure area and any changes in access during the course of the project will be communicated directly to families. Construction works will be carried out on a phased basis to ensure no reduction in current service levels.