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The so-called ‘patient hotel’ was originally due to open sometime this year following the completion of a HSE National Framework Agreement for Temporary Alternative Accommodation.
But in a recent statement to the Medical Independent (MI), a spokesperson for STGH said the building would be in place for autumn, 2018. “Hospital management and staff in STGH welcome the Minister for Health’s recent announcement in relation to the approval and funding of a 40-bed modular building,” said the spokesperson.
“The new unit will be a significant improvement on the existing bed facility within the hospital. The news is welcomed by all staff at the hospital. There is no doubt that this will improve the patient experience of hospital care in STGH.”
It is understood the ‘hotel’ will take about six weeks to construct and cost approximately €60,000 per week to run. Patient hotels are common in Scandinavia and are also in use in the UK.
At a recent meeting of the HSE South Regional Health Forum, Councillor Tom Wood raised concerns about significant overcrowding at STGH, with more than 3,000 patients on trolleys there in the first seven months of the year.
In response, Ms Maria Barry, General Manager at STGH, said that a new clinical area with 11 trolleys would open in December.
Ms Barry added that an Assistant Director of Nursing for patient flow was appointed in April and that internal processes and work flows have been reviewed to improve patient flow.
“STGH continues to have daily liaison with the CHO 5 management in relation to community support required to ensure safe effective discharge of vulnerable patients. STGH will utilise any additional packages to be granted under winter initiative 17/18. Additional consultant posts have been approved and will further enhance the care delivered at the hospital.”