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The review began last year and is being undertaken by Consultant in Rehabilitation Dr Andrew Hanrahan, following a request by the SSWHG. It is to recommend particular hospital sites where rehabilitation services will be provided.
A SSWHG spokesperson declined to comment on the objective of the review but revealed it would be published shortly.
“The report is currently being finalised by the author and it is expected that a draft report will be issued in approximately three weeks’ time,” the spokesperson commented last week.
Mr Tony McNamara, CEO of the Cork University Hospital (CUH) Group, told MI that more community and rehabilitation services are needed in the region.
“It remains to be seen how rehabilitation medicine is organised here but there is no question there needs to be an investment in rehabilitation facilities in this region,” he said.
“It is putting incredible pressure on the excellent services there are in the National Rehabilitation Hospital to be the referral point for the whole country. There needs to be a distributed model of rehabilitation care in different parts of the country.”
He added: “It is particularly important for us as a trauma centre here [at CUH]… that we have access to local rehabilitation facilities and that’s in no way to undermine what they do in the National Rehabilitation Hospital, which is a superb facility.”
Meanwhile, minutes of senior management team (SMT) meetings at Mallow General Hospital (MGH), obtained via Freedom of Information, show the issue of rehabilitation services and why it should be a favoured site was discussed late last year.
According to minutes of an SMT meeting in October, it was agreed the hospital would complete a template requested by the SSWHG, as well as provide additional information on why it would be a favoured site for rehabilitation services.
The minutes listed strong corporate and clinical links with the CUH Group in terms of its clinical director model and rotating registrars as reasons in its favour.
The geography of the hospital and lack of an emergency department (ED) on site were also cited.
“No ED department, thus pressure on inpatient beds not as great to allow protection for the rehabilitation unit,” stated the minutes.