Reeves Day Surgery Centre will eliminate long wait times

By Mary Dennehy

TALLAGHT University Hospital has “achieved the impossible” in an unprecedented year, and opened a new, off-campus, community-based day surgery facility with four theatres and 25 recovery beds. 

Located across the road from the main hospital, the new 3,460sqm Reeves Day Surgery Centre will eliminate long wait times for routine day surgery and increase day surgery activity.

Reeves Surgical Day Unit Launch Picture 1

Staff at the Reeves Surgical Day Unit at the launch last week

According to Tallaght University Hospital (TUH): “The goal of the new Reeves Day Surgery Centre [RDSC] is to reduce day surgery waiting times to a maximum of three months within 12 months of the four theatres being fully operational.

“The opening of the RDSC is part of an ambitious five-year strategy for the hospital which recognises the changing direction of health care provision across the country in respect of new infrastructure requirements, more community-based services and increased reliance on innovation, technology and research-led care.

“The opening of the Reeves Day Surgery Centre is an important step in the realisation of this strategy and is aligned to Sláintecare policy of separating scheduled and unscheduled care.

“The Centre will eliminate long wait times for routine day surgery and improve access for patients and support the Hospital with the increasing demands of serving a growing and aging population.”

The establishment of the centre was a joint project between TUH and IRES, with building work commencing in October 2019.

Reeves Surgical Day Unit reception 1

Reeves Surgical Day Unit reception

Phase one of the opening of the Reeves centre involves, from December 2020, three of the four theatres ramping up to full activity within four months.

The fourth theatre will open in Phase 2 of the development (2021 – 2022).

Within four months of opening, 80 per cent of all day surgery activity across all surgical specialities in the local hospital will be performed in the new centre.

Commenting on the opening of the new centre, TUH Chief Executive Lucy Nugent said: “This year is certainly one we will never forget.

“As frontline workers and individuals we have been presented with many challenges this year.

“The fact that we are able to treat our first patients in this new modern facility before the end of the year is an incredible testament to the entire team that worked on this project.

“With a lot of hard work and combined commitment from staff, partners and suppliers we have achieved the impossible this year with the completion of the Vartry Renal Unit and now the opening of the Reeves Day Surgery Centre.

“This is despite delays due to lockdown and increased safety measures around ways of working.

“This new facility will serve the patients and community well over the years to come as it goes some way in helping to address the continuing challenge of access at TUH.”

TUH was originally designed as a 650-bed hospital however, due to budgetary constraints at the time 120 beds were cut from the final build.

Census 2016 indicates a population of almost 644,000 people in the three main areas served by TUH, South Dublin, Kildare and West Wicklow.

According to TUH, this is an increase of more than 31,500 people in the past five years.

“With the planned construction of additional private and social housing schemes in the surrounding areas, this population growth will accelerate further”, a TUH spokesperson said.

“Since opening, the hospital has experienced ever-increasing demand for its services without a commensurate increase in capacity.

“The hospital urgently needs to develop both capacity and new ways of working in order to meet increased and more complex demands.

“Fortunately, unlike many other hospitals, TUH is not constrained on its 33 acres campus and is able to expand both horizontally and vertically as well as offsite becoming a ‘hospital without walls’.”

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