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Cappagh Chair highlights ‘not fit-for-purpose’ HDU

The Chair of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Cappagh, appealed to the HSE CEO at a recent event for assistance to develop its “not fit-for-purpose” high dependency unit (HDU).

Mr John Wilkinson, speaking at a seminar showcasing innovations at the hospital, said there was “passion and commitment” from all staff at Cappagh to deliver an efficient service.

The hospital had almost 100 per cent same-day admission for elective orthopaedic surgery and was achieving same-day discharge for suitable patients following total hip replacements, with good outcomes. Cappagh has also been performing paediatric scoliosis surgeries.

This work was taking place “despite an infrastructure that is creaking in places”, said Mr Wilkinson.

The hospital has been developing a master plan for the redevelopment and enhancement of facilities.

“But a critical point at this point in time is our high dependency unit, which to be blunt about it, is not fit-for-purpose…

“I would gently say to the HSE members here present that we have delivered for you, we have delivered for our patients and hopefully you will find a way to deliver for us in the context of that particular requirement and hopefully that might be in the near future.”

Speaking to the Medical Independent (MI), hospital CEO Ms Angela Lee said the HDU was a “temporary structure” partitioned from a ward. She said this infrastructure posed “huge challenges”.

HSE CEO Mr Paul Reid, who attended the event, told MI the infrastructure in many hospitals was “very old” and there were “competing priorities in terms of capital investment”. The aged infrastructure during a recent visit to the Rotunda Hospital had been “quite striking”.

There were a number of big capital projects being delivered this year, “so it does draw on the capital available”.

Speaking generally, Mr Reid added that “some of the section 38 hospitals do have assets as well, that could be leveraged in terms of reinvestment” and the HSE was encouraging hospitals to examine this possibility.

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