Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has officially opened the new 1,750 m2 Intensive Care Wing at Tallaght University Hospital, Dublin.
The expanded space on the first floor of the Hospital has 12 ICU beds, each in a single room. The additional beds, which provide care to the most critically ill patients. are located across two zones, each with their own central nursing station.
The new ICU expansion represents a major service development for TUH and the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group (DMHG). The Critical Care Area in TUH caters for a catchment area of 650,000 people and prior to the opening of the new wing, consisted of nine Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds, five Post Anaesthesia Critical Care Unit (PACCU) beds which manage elective and emergency postoperative patients and two High Dependency Unit (HDU) beds located in the coronary care unit. The additional beds will enable the Hospital to continue to provide high quality medical care to the increasing numbers of critically ill patients.
Commenting on the opening of the new wing Minister Donnelly said, “It is with great pleasure that I officially open the new ICU wing, seeing first-hand the most modern ICU facilities in the country, supported by the HSE and my Department as part of the Strategic Plan for Critical Care, which I brought to Government in 2020. It is facilities like this that have enabled us to expand nationally to over 300 critical care beds, up from 255 at the start of 2020. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the project ensuring it has opened both on schedule and on budget.”
“The opening of our new ICU extension is part of the Hospital’s strategy to improve infrastructure with the priority of improving access for our most vulnerable patients and prepare the Hospital for the increasing demands of serving a rapidly growing population. Patients requiring ICU care will now receive it in the appropriate and superior location, ensuring the alternative areas previously used for ICU patients can be used for their proper purpose i.e. post anaesthetic care unit which facilitates complex post-operative patients” said Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of TUH at the official opening.
The hospital said, “The additional beds will be supported by 146 whole time equivalent staff made up of nursing, consultant intensivists, registrars and Health & Social Care Professionals. The recruitment for medical staff is completed, the recruitment of the additional Health & Social Care professionals are at the final stages of recruitment. Nursing recruitment is ongoing with 50 posts filled and the remaining staff being in place by January/February 2022. The existing ICU in TUH which is 24 years old will be refurbished between September-December, the additional bed capacity will increase steadily from 12 to 21 beds from January onwards upon completion of the refurbishment programme.
TUH was officially designated as a Trauma Unit in April 2021. This, combined with expansion in ICU workload including the Naas General Hospital trauma by-pass and TUH critical care outreach, the Hospital will be in a better position to cater for the increased demand for ICU care.”