Saturday 17 March 2018

New Lourdes ED will open in May

Minister impressed with new facilities and extra beds

Fiona Magennis

The State-of-the-art new Emergency Department at Our Lady of Lourdes will be officially opened next May, it has been revealed.

Minister for Health Simon Harris visited the hospital last week where he announced 50 new beds which will open on December 5th. The new Emergency Department will include a dedicated respiratory ward.

In addition, the new operating theatres will open by the end of 2018 providing a total of five operating theatres in the hospital, a net increase of two overall.

'So not only will you have better facilities you'll also have additional capacity which should make a big difference with elective waiting times too,' the Minister said following his visit to the hospital.

Speaking to the Drogheda Independent following his tour of the 50 new beds, Minister said he had been extremely impressed with the ED building.

'I was certainly really blown away by the facilities. Everybody in the new ward blocks will have ensuite facilities and obviously that will help with infection control,' he said. 'We will see 50 beds open in the next couple of weeks at the start of December.'

Minister Harris acknowledged that the number of patients being treated on trolleys in the Lourdes is less than half what it was last year and said first and foremost he wanted to pay tribute to the staff at the hospital who worked so hard to achieve this.

'I first visited the hospital about a year ago. I wasn't that long in post and I think it's fair to say that the hospital had gone through a challenging time and I'm very pleased to say that the HSE trolley guard figures for the hospital show a 48% reduction from this year to September versus last year to September and I have to really acknowledge that because it's due to a lot of hard work,' the Minister told the Drogheda Independent.

'Yes they're getting extra beds now and a new ED which will be open in May so all of that is brilliant and I'm delighted we're in a position to provide that investment but I do have to acknowledge the work that they themselves have done in the hospital and I think it does prove that really effective management and really hardworking front line staff does make a difference so I wanted to say thank you to them today because it was in a very different place to when i last visited but obviously I was there also to see the new facilities.'

He said there was also good news on the staffing front with improvements also seen in this area with a 'significant improvement' in staff retention.

The minister said in addition, a further 23 new students nurses have recently been recruited.

'I asked if they would have the ability to staff the new beds and they assured me that recruitment was going well,' he added. 'I believe there's actually a panel in terms of recruitment opportunities there, they brought that in a couple of years ago and it's beginning to pay dividends now.'

Drogheda Independent