Mount Carmel is reborn as a short-stay nursing home
Mount Carmel Hospital, where generations of babies were delivered before its closure last year, has been reborn as a short-stay nursing home for older people.
The former private maternity hospital in Churchtown, south Dublin, which was purchased by the HSE for €11m, has been redeveloped to provide a range of short-stay, traditional care, assessment and rehabilitation beds.
Social Care Minister Kathleen Lynch said it would mean "people who no longer need to be in an acute hospital but who, for a variety of reasons, cannot immediately go home or to residential care are looked after in a more appropriate environment.
"Acute hospitals are geared towards acute care. This community hospital can provide non-acute services, in a calmer and more holistic way."
The new facility has had a phased opening since April and to date 100 residents patients have been admitted to the renamed Mount Carmel Community Hospital, with an average length of stay of 24 days.
She said a combination of transitional care beds and short stay support beds were provided along with access to a number of services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics.
There is a full-time medical officer on site, supported by a senior geriatrician.
The hope is that it will provide a much-needed relief to some of the hospital overcrowding which is set to leave emergency departments struggling again this winter.
Initially, it took patients from hospitals on the north side of Dublin but it now receives referrals of people who might otherwise be needlessly occupying an acute bed in all hospitals.