Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre will play a central role, together with the new children’s hospital, in the delivery of the new model of care for paediatrics in the Greater Dublin Area
Local Oireachtas members and Councillors visited Connolly Hospital this morning to view a 3D model of the planned Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre that is scheduled to open on the grounds of Connolly Hospital in 2018. The elected officials were briefed on the services that will be offered at the new Centre as part of the new national model of care for paediatric services that will see children and young people in Dublin receive acute paediatric care as close to their home as is medically appropriate.
As part of the new children’s hospital project, planning permission was also granted in April 2016 for two new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres in Dublin – one at Connolly Hospital on the North side of Dublin and one at Tallaght Hospital on the South side of Dublin. While the new children’s hospital on a shared campus with St James’s Hospital will open in 2021, the Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres at Connolly and Tallaght Hospitals will open on a phased basis from 2018.
The Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres will provide urgent care paediatric services, including short stay observation beds, and outpatients clinics such as general paediatrics and orthopaedics for fracture clinics – all supported by therapies, phlebotomy, general X Ray and Ultrasound services – child sexual abuse counselling services and, at the Connolly centre, primary care dental services. Typically, the centres will care for children and young people who have a common, minor illness or injury which cannot be managed by a GP (primary care) but does not require the acute services of an Emergency Department. In advance of the centres opening, there will be a full information and awareness programme to ensure that families, the public and GPs understand the services that will be available and to encourage families to avail of services in close proximity to their homes.
Meanwhile, the new children’s hospital on a campus shared with St James’s Hospital will provide specialist (tertiary) level care to children from all over Ireland, and also secondary healthcare services for children who live within the M50 and in the Greater Dublin Area.
Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said; “The new Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres will support the new children’s hospital in improving the delivery of paediatric healthcare in Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area. Aspects of the satellite service are already being trialled since February 2016, such as the Short Stay Observation Unit which is up and running at the paediatric Emergency Department at Tallaght Hospital and where more than 700 patients have already been treated. The Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres in Tallaght and at Connolly are easily accessible to local populations for the management of minor illness and injuries and attendance at outpatient and chronic disease clinics.”
Minister for Social Protection and local TD Leo Varadkar TD, who was amongst the local public representatives at Connolly Hospital today, said: “This fantastic children’s unit will provide general paediatrics and urgent care. Local children and young people from North Dublin, North Kildare and Meath will have access to consultant-led rapid access outpatient clinics and multi-disciplinary therapies and services close to their homes. The three storey unit will include a walk-in children’s urgent care centre, paediatric out-patient department and children’s dentistry. As was announced under the national maternity strategy in June 2015, the Rotunda Maternity Hospital is due to move to Blanchardstown in the next decade, just as the Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital is to move to the St James’s Hospital campus, alongside the new children’s hospital.”
Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive, the Children’s Hospital Group, said; “The vast majority of children and young people who attend our three children’s hospitals in Dublin and the Greater Dublin Area are treated on a same-day basis and do not require to be admitted to an inpatient bed. In the children’s hospital at Tallaght Hospital, for example, 85% of children attending its Emergency Department in 2016 were assessed, treated and discharged on the same day. The new Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres are designed to allow us to deliver the right care, in the right place, at the right time, ensuring that children and young people return home as soon as possible, which is what every child and their parents want.”
Margaret Boland, General Manager, Connolly Hospital; “We have been working with the Children’s Hospital Group and the NPHDB for some time now on the development of the Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital and we look forward to the delivery of this fine new facility to our campus by the end of next year. This new facility is in keeping with our master plan for the hospital and we look forward to children and young people having access here on the campus to paediatric services delivered by the Children’s Hospital Group.”
John Pollock, Project Director, National Paediatric Hospital Development Board, which is tasked with designing, building and equipping the new children’s hospital and the Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres at Tallaght and Connolly Hospitals, said; “Hundreds of staff from the three children’s hospitals are inputting into the fit out and internal design of both the new children’s hospital and the two Paediatric Outpatients and Urgent Care Centres to ensure that the children, young people and their families can be treated in the best possible environment – helping to improve clinical outcomes as well as overall well-being and patient experience.”