Plans advancing for new dialysis service in Mid West

IMPROVED services for dialysis patients who live across the Limerick/Clare border are on the cards with news that UL Hospitals Group (ULHG) are in talks on a contract to provide the service in Ennis.

Regional Health Forum member and Clare councillor Mary Howard (FG) asked at the most recent meeting of the Forum what current plans are in place to provide further dialysis services in the region.

In response, the CEO of ULHG, Prof Colette Cowan, said: “UL Hospitals Group is seeking to establish a contract for the provision of a haemodialysis service with a suitably qualified renal provider for a Contracted Satellite Haemodialysis Unit service in Ennis.”

“We envisage that this unit will be similar to the satellite centre already in place on the Dock Road, Limerick.

“The tender process for the Contracted Satellite Haemodialysis Unit is progressing and we have met with a number of potential providers. The shortlisted companies will be invited to present their proposals in October 2023.

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“As part of the contract, the successful company will provide the dialysis machines. UL Hospitals Group will work with National Procurement with a view to having the contract awarded by Q1 2024. The opening date of the unit will be determined by the successful tender and their proposal.”

The CEO said that, if a new build is involved, the project would take approximately 24 months to complete, while the reconfiguration of an existing building would take between 12-18 months.

Such a service would  “allow patients to benefit from better quality of life by being able to avail of treatments closer to home. The development of this unit will also help ease pressure on the Renal Department at University Hospital Limerick and on the satellite unit on the Dock Road, Limerick,” Prof Cowan said.