Representatives to push hospital €37m plans at government level

By Mary Dennehy

IN RECENT weeks, Tallaght Hospital CEO David Slevin briefed a number of politicians on proposals to help build capacity at the local health facility, future proofing the hospital. This week we asked the elected representatives briefed, what they are doing to highlight Tallaght Hospital’s case at Government level?

AS REPORTED in The Echo last week, Tallaght Hospital has a number of major capital projects at varying stages of progress underway, all of which hope to maximise accessibility and patient experience in the years to come.

Katherine Zappone and David Slevin 28092017

Last week contractors moved on site to build a new corporate services building and state-of-the-art creche which, taking nine months to construct, is being built as part of the €22m approved by Government for the Paediatric Outpatient and Urgent Care Satellite Clinic.

The HSE has also approved funding of €15m for the development of a new two-storey renal building which, due to commence in January 2018, will increase the hospital’s dialysis stations from 14 to 28.

Proposals to increase the hospital’s Intensive Care Unit are at planning stage, with management expecting to find out in December if the HSE will financilly support the project.

Hospital management have also identified a site on campus for the development of a six-storey, 72-single room development which, currently at feasibility stage, will also create a new home for the oncology and endoscopy departments.

These projects are among a number of proposals that the hospital is currently working on to future proof Tallaght Hospital and adapting it to the growing catchment area and aging population that it caters to.

In recent weeks, CEO David Slevin has met with local politicans, Independent Minister Katherine Zappone, Fine Gael TD Colm Brophy and Fianna Fail TD and Spokesperson for Dublin, John Lahart.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone told The Echo that she met with the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe after her briefing to seek support for Tallaght Hospital in context of the Capital Plan.

“I met with the Minister for Finance and I have also sent a letter to the Minister for Health …and I will sit down with him and look at it in more detail”, Minister Zappone said.

“I absolutely agree with Tallaght Hospital’s proposals… and I have specifically explained the growth in the [area’s] aging population [to ministers]. 

“I am like a dog with a bone [on this issue].”

When contacted by The Echo, Dublin South West TD Colm Brophy said that he “fully supports” the proposals.

He added: “Firstly it is important to note that recent investment in the hospital has significantly increased capacity in the Emergency Department and I will be supporting the hospital in terms of their proposals for the development of the intensive care unit.

“Having met with the Chief Executive, David Slevin and senior management, who gave me an excellent presentation, I will be directly contacting Minister Harris to ensure him of my support for this development and request the Government provide support for it.”

Fianna Fail deputy John Lahart said: “I very much support the proposals of the CEO and Board of the Hospital.

“I question specifically what steps will be taken to ensure parents of sick children will not go directly to the new National Children’s Hospital at St James' with their child as opposed to bringing them to [the paediatric satellite clinic at] Tallaght where children will be monitored and assessed prior to either release or transfer. 

“The CEO agreed that this was a challenge that would have to be addressed.”

He added: Through Parliamentary Questions and Topical issues I have raised the projects proposed at Tallaght (some of which have been approved) in the Dáil at every available opportunity.”

Deputy Lahart said that he is “particularly excited” about the first clinical expansion of the hospital out into the community, a project which will see 22,000 outpatients access services in a building in the new medical quarter in Tallaght Cross.

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