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Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin will continue to focus on providing on-going high-quality critical care but in a vastly-improved environment. Today (Monday, 27 June 2011), the Minister of Health, Dr James Reilly TD officially opened the new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at the hospital. Children and adolescents who are critically ill from all counties of Ireland began receiving care in the new Unit from March 2011.   The project was funded in totality by the Health Service Executive at a cost of €9.8million. Phase two has now commenced and will provide for staff education rooms and parents facilities and will be completed in Autumn 2011on target.  The Chairman of the Board, the Most Rev Diarmuid Martin DD, Archbishop of Dublin gave the welcome address and blessed the new unit.

Speaking at the opening Director of ICU, Dr Martina Healy said:

“The old intensive care facility was wholly inadequate for the care of critically ill children. The new intensive care unit has more than doubled each bed area size. The quality of care that patients currently receive in PICU matches the best available internationally. Providing more appropriate conditions for parents will lessen the trauma of having a child in PICU. Providing better working conditions for staff will also help to retain and recruit specialised staff. This new unit will provide 4 extra Paediatric ICU beds to the hospital bringing the total ICU bed complement at the hospital to 25.”

“All the staff and consultants who have worked in the cramped quarters of our previous  intensive care unit are very happy to be working in this new facility. A better facility can make major improvements for patient care and infection control. We know our staff do an excellent job; this unit will allow them to go that much further for their patients,” said Orla O’Brien, Divisional Nurse Manager.

The only two children’s intensive care units in the country are housed at Our Lady’s and Children’s University Hospital, Temple Street.  Both hospitals continue to work closely through the PICU network which discusses daily PICU availability for the country’s sickest children.

Speaking at the opening parent Tom O’Gorman, father of Amy Age 6, said:

“What the new PICU offers, is the space, facilities, and overall better environment for the doctors and nurses to work in, and more crucially for the patient to get better in. Amy spent 85 days here in Crumlin, yet I firmly believe that this stay would have been longer were it not for the improved recovery prospects that this new unit offers to patients like her.  The new unit helps patient recovery. The bed area offers greater space for the physiotherapists to begin mobilising the patient properly. Amy has the distinction of being the first patient there to use the corridor space as a natural circuit to begin her lap walking exercises – something she would not have been able to do in the old unit”.

Further changes in the new unit focuses on family and friends who are key participants in patient care and recovery. Quiet rooms as well as washrooms, showers and sleeper chairs will allow parents/guardians to be close to their loved one at all times.

Commenting, Gerry O’Dwyer, Regional Director of Operations HSE Dublin Mid-Leinster said:

 “This development represents the commitment by the HSE to enhance paediatric services. We are delighted to be in a position to fund this development given the current economic climate. It is identified as a crucial element of paediatric care. The HSE will continue to work with all paediatric hospitals, including OLCHC towards developing a single paediatric hospital at one site. The HSE acknowledges the close working relationship which exists across all paediatric hospitals.”

 “A commitment to caring for patients and families is the inspiration for the new Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at Our Lady’s Children’s’ Hospital, Crumlin, which provides 80% of paediatric tertiary services.  On behalf of the staff of Our Lady’s I which to acknowledge the support and thank the Health Services Executive for recognising the urgent need to improve ICU facilities and supporting the new development.  This new development will provide a healthcare environment, which, in terms of design, ambience and support for families, will benefit critically ill children. The new Unit will meet an urgent, immediate clinical need, minimise risks of infection, and provide timely access to healthcare and represents value for money, said Lorcan Birthistle, Chief Executive at OLCHC.



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