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Beaumont’s clinical directors appealed for progress on infrastructure

By Catherine Reilly - 12th May 2024

hospital infrastructure

Beaumont Hospital’s clinical directors expressed their concerns about delays in progressing essential capital developments and the implications for the hospital, in internal correspondence last year.

At a board meeting on 30 March 2023, the hospital’s then interim CEO Mr Patrick Clerkin noted that a letter from the clinical directors had been received by the Chairperson.

In reviewing capital projects, Mr Clerkin drew particular attention to the emergency department (ED), single-room bed capacity, and critical care. “He noted the history of capital projects at the hospital, the enabling works and architectural team, as well as issues related to the ring road and parking that would need to be addressed alongside the vital factor of funding,” according to meeting minutes obtained under Freedom of Information law.

A meeting was due to be held with the HSE National Director for Acute Operations the following week on the matter.

“In re-emphasising the importance of funding, the Interim Chief Executive Officer also noted that securing this element to support the capital projects would help the hospital continue its good performance in terms of patient care.”

Prof Peter Conlon, Lead Clinical Director, advised the meeting that the future of the hospital was dependant on securing the infrastructural development. He highlighted that a lack of funding and action would impact the number and quality of NCHDs and consultants.

At a board meeting on 26 October, interim CEO Mr David Sweeney provided an update on capital developments. He advised that construction of the new cystic fibrosis build was due to commence from early 2024. He confirmed the new road design was scheduled to begin in summer 2024 and the project was due for completion in summer 2025.

In relation to decant projects, he advised that Rockfield House preservation works were being undertaken, and plans for the associated convent building were due for discussion with the architects from January 2025.

“These projects combined will enable transfer of administrative staff from campus locations which reside in the footprint of the planned new emergency department. The [interim CEO] stated that the 100-bedded medical block is due to proceed to planning in 2024. He noted that due to the central location on the campus, potential delays arising from planning objections are reduced. Emergency department planning meetings will be scheduled from early 2024 with a view to progressing interior design elements quickly.

“The Chairperson welcomed these developments in the context of clinician dissatisfaction with the lack of progress with capital projects in years gone by,” noted the minutes.

In November, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly described the proposed new ED at Beaumont as a “large and complex capital proposal” in the early stages of design development.

A comment was awaited from Beaumont at press time.

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