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  • Northside West

Urgent care centre opens

Wednesday, 7th August, 2019 8:00am
Urgent care centre opens

Dr Ciara Martin, Eilísh Hardiman and Dineo Hunters at the opening of CHI at Connolly. Photo: Julien Behal

Urgent care centre opens

Dr Ciara Martin, Eilísh Hardiman and Dineo Hunters at the opening of CHI at Connolly. Photo: Julien Behal

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THE first tangible element of the National Children’s Hospital project opened at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown last week.

The new Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre provides a range of services to Northside children, young people and their families as well as those in the surrounding areas of Co Kildare and Co Meath.

Supporters of the National Children’s Hospital project say the opening of CHI at Connolly is a major milestone in the project, which is the most significant investment in healthcare ever undertaken by the State. 

The new building on the campus of Connolly was handed over in May by the National Paediatric Hospital Development Board (NPHDB) to CHI for a period of clinical and operational commissioning. 

A range of services will be provided at CHI at Connolly including urgent care for the treatment of minor injury and illness that require prompt treatment but are not life threatening.

Children with minor injuries such as fractures, sprains, minor burns, small cuts and illnesses such as vomiting, diarrhoea and mild asthma should all come to the new centre, which is a walk-in service with no appointment necessary.

A short stay observation unit will allow for children and young people to be observed and treated by a consultant for up to six hours before being discharged. 

It’s expected that a small number of patients will require onward referral to one of other children’s hospitals at Tallaght, Temple Street and Our Lady’s.

The Urgent Care Centre will open on a phased basis to allow for monitoring and review of processes, staff training and patient safety assessment.

The initial opening hours are 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Officials have admitted that there are “recruitment challenges” in specialities, such as paediatric radiology and paediatric emergency medicine.

“While our recruitment campaign for emergency medicine has been successful there are temporary vacancies in CHI due to maternity and backfill requirements for paediatric emergency medicine posts,” a spokesperson said.

When fully operational, CHI at Connolly is expected to provide 17,000 outpatient appointments every year and it’s anticipated that 25,000 children and young people will visit the urgent care centre annually.

Minister for Health, Simon Harris, spoke at last week’s official opening of the facility.

“After generations of debate it is great to see we are making progress with the opening of this incredible new facility in Blanchardstown,” he said.

“We are transforming paediatric healthcare in this country and today is the first major step on that journey.

“I want to thank all of those who worked so hard to get us to this point. Each of you have played a vital role in ensuring our children get the best of care in the best facilities.”

 Eilísh Hardiman, Chief Executive CHI, thanked all staff involved in the centre who she described as “solely motivated to make services better for our patients.”

“Delivering better, safer services will lead to better healthcare outcomes while also improving the experiences for our children, young people, their families and our staff who are all central to our purpose in opening paediatric services at CHI at Connolly,” she added.

Clinical Director and Paediatric Executive Lead at CHI, Dr Ciara Martin, said the new centre would “make an incredible difference to the lives of children, young people and their families”.

”We are now starting to see the investment in children’s healthcare that is long overdue with the opening of this new facility, which will mean more outpatients’ appointments for thousands of children in the Irish health system compared to last year,” she added.

Paul Harding, Dr Ciara Martin and Eilísh Hardiman have a look around CHI at Connolly. Photo: Julien Behal

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