HSE plans over €2bn spend in three years

By Mary Dennehy

PUBLISHED this week, the HSE’s Capital Plan 2019–2021 outlines spending of over €2 billion on health projects over the next three years.

Three projects at Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) are included, two of which are currently under construction – the paediatric ambulatory care unit and the new Renal Dialysis Unit.

Tallaght Hospital 03 compressor

Tallaght Hospital

The construction of both of these developments are well underway and on schedule to be open by the end of 2020.

As previously reported in The Echo, the construction of the new renal unit at Tallaght was originally due to commence in January 2018.

However, delays in HSE capital funding commitments pushed construction out to November 2018, when the €17m contract for the unit was awarded.

The third project listed in the three-year capital plan is the expansion of the Critical Care Unit, also known as ICU.

According to the HSE capital plan, the funding being provided for this expansion will in 2019 progress the project to ‘design’ stage.

Funding to construct the €8 million, 12-bed ICU expansion, which has been granted planning permission, is not listed in the plan published.

The Echo asked the HSE if provisions have been made within the plan’s three year lifespan to build the 1,500m2 ICU expansion.

However, the HSE was unable to provide a response in time for print.

When contacted by The Echo, a spokesperson for Tallaght University Hospital said that planning permission was granted for a 12-bed ICU extension adjacent to the existing ICU on the second floor.

“Expansion of the ICU capacity is vital to address current constraints that result in the most vulnerable of our patients waiting too long to access intensive care services and resolve the associated patient safety issues,” the spokesperson said.

“The hospital is progressing through the detailed design phase in 2019 with the aim of publishing a construction tender in January 2020.

“The next step is dependent upon the HSE funding, which has yet to be confirmed.

“This is the second of two healthcare investment priorities of the Government for the hospital stated in the National Development plan 2017–2027.”

In relation to the new renal unit, a hospital spokesperson said: “The unit will not only achieve increased capacity, the number of dialysis stations will increase from 14 to 28, but will improve the model of care for patients with a particular emphasis on home and self-care, building on our existing status as a home-therapies centre.

“This exciting development will ratify the hospital’s position as the second largest provider of haemodialysis nationally.”

The Tymon North Nursing home, which is also under construction, is listed within the plan for 2019.

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