New surgery centre cuts time for day procedures
At the official opening of the new day surgery centre earlier this year were Laura Magahy, Executive Director Slaintecare, Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, Prof Paul Ridgeway, Consultant Surgeon & Perioperative Director, and Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of TUH

New surgery centre cuts time for day procedures

SOME 2,000 extra day surgery procedures went ahead at Tallaght University Hospital in 2021 following the opening of its new Reeves Day Surgery Centre.

Opened a year this month, the 3,460 sq m day surgery facility is located across the road from the hospital and is kitted out with four theatres, three of which are open.

Speaking with The Echo, the CEO of Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) Lucy Nugent said that some 2,000 day surgeries would not have gone ahead if the centre was not open.

In her interview that looked back at 2021, Ms Nugent noted a number of positives among the challenges faced in the past 12 months.

“We had the cyber-attack and a power outage, but there have been some positives,” Ms Nugent said.

“TUH entered into a new energy efficiency contract to reduce our carbon footprint.

“We planted trees on campus and have three beehives on-site, which just produced the most amazing pure, unfiltered honey.

“[The honey] is being sold in the canteen and the proceeds are going to Bugs, Bees and Native Trees.

“Five Sláinte Care projects piloted in the community have received permanent funding and TUH was also designated as one of two [dedicated] Women’s Health units in the country [in 2021].”

Lucy Nugent

Ms Nugent also confirmed that 2,000 extra day surgeries were carried out in 2021 due to the opening of the new Reeves centre, a community-based surgical day-procedure facility, with 24 recovery beds.

“We are on target to have no patient waiting longer than three months for any day surgery procedure by June 2022,” Ms Nugent said.

“Unfortunately, in-patient surgical activity has been impacted as we escalate Covid-related activity and critical care.

“We are in the middle of a fourth wave.

“We have a tried and tested plan in place but that’s not to say it doesn’t put us under pressure – staff are exhausted.

“We’re trying to manage non-Covid activity as well.”

While acknowledging some of the projects progressed in 2021, Ms Nugent recognised the difficult year it has been for many of its patients and their families, hospital staff and the wider community.

“I do acknowledge that both our staff and community have made huge personal

sacrifices this year and endured personal loss,” Ms Nugent said.

Among the challenges faced is rising Emergency Department (ED) attendances, which are currently at a six-year high.

The former Children’s Hospital A&E, which is vacant after re-locating to the new paediatric urgent care centre, will be reconfigured as part of the adult’s acute floor.

This will give TUH additional space to assist with streamlining as people enter ED, helping patients to access senior decision-makers quicker.

The TUH Foundation has also funded a new CT scanner for the ED floor which has AI software that, for example, guides a radiologist and stroke doctor to the part of a brain where there has been a bleed.

The AI software helps the team to identify the bleed quicker.

While speaking with The Echo, close to 40 patients with Covid were being cared for by the team at Tallaght, with rising cases this Christmas due to the Omicron variant a concern for staff.

Speaking to the community, Ms Nugent said: “Continue doing what you are doing.

“Observe social distancing, get a booster if you can and if sick, stay home and get tested as early as possible.

“The community really has been a valuable support to the hospital, and we apologise if there are delays, we’re trying to manage things as fast as we can.”

Keep up to date with your local hospital over the Christmas and New Year by visiting the Tallaght University Hospital website HERE. 



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