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– Urgent care services for children are now open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday and 10 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday (including bank holidays) in-service expansion from Children’s Health Ireland

– State-of-the-art facility offers walk-in service with no referral needed

CHI at Connolly urgent care service treats children with minor injuries such as fractures, sprains, minor burns, small cuts and illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhoea and mild asthma. The urgent care centre is a walk-in service – with no appointment necessary and offers patients rapid access to specialist paediatric care and shorter waiting times. Currently, urgent care is open from 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday but Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) who manage the service has now extended opening hours to include weekends (opening 10 am – 5 pm Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays).

Since opening in 2019, CHI at Connolly Children’s Outpatient and Emergency Care unit has offered children, young people and their families fast, convenient, quality care close to home as is clinically appropriate, for those living around Dublin 15, North Dublin, Co Kildare and Co Meath.

The state-of-the-art facility on the grounds of Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown represented a first look at how children’s health services in Ireland are changing for the better. In 2021 CHI opened the doors of the new children’s Emergency Care Unit at Tallaght University Hospital. The Urgent and emergency care services on both sites will continue to provide urgent care to local communities alongside the new children’s hospital when it is complete at St James in Dublin 8.

Dr Ike Okafor, Paediatric Executive Lead and Clinical Director of CHI at Connolly stated:

“Additional opening hours for our urgent care services at CHI at Connolly in Blanchardstown will help provide better healthcare access for thousands of children in and around North Dublin without the need to travel to the ED in CHI at Temple Street in most cases.’’

Assistant Director of Nursing Anne Marie Dowling and current Manager, CHI at Connolly added:

“Since opening in 2019 the feedback from our patients and their families has been overwhelmingly positive. The modern bright child-friendly design of the building has improved the experience for everyone who attends our urgent care services and outpatient departments”.

CHI at Connolly also includes a purpose built Outpatients suite and will provide upwards of 17,000 outpatient appointments (General Paediatrics and Orthopaedic Fracture clinics) annually. This will contribute to significant reductions in waiting times for CHI patients and their families to access a General Paediatrician.

Spanning over 5,000m2 of floor space, CHI at Connolly was designed with input from both clinical and operational staff from the existing hospitals and, most importantly, through involvement and input from young people and families. The interior includes a sensory room for parents with children with additional needs, a dedicated changing space for children and adolescents in wheelchairs, a separate breastfeeding space for new mothers, a therapy gym in orthopaedic outpatients and dedicated splinting and casting rooms.

One such example was a recent visit by a parent and 11-year-old Kaiden Cunningham who has Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and can find a visit to a hospital setting a challenge. His mother Fiona Cunningham said:

“Kaiden experienced anxiety around blood testing and we were invited to take part in a new clinic, especially for autistic children. However, the bright welcoming space in CHI at Connolly really supported Kaiden. The experience of the sensory room was really helpful. The soft furnishing, lights and textures allowed Kaiden to relax while waiting for his procedures.”

Fiona added: “The bright, light space is calming for children which in turn keeps the parents calm. Kaiden is happier going for blood tests in CHI at Connolly as the more modern service meets his needs.”

More information about children’s services at CHI at Connolly can be found at www.childrenshealthireland.ie/connolly

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