Tallaght Hospital child fracture unit to re-open

By Mary Dennehy

A PHASED reopening of the paediatric fracture clinic at Tallaght Hospital is due to start in the coming weeks after two new orthopaedic consultants were appointed, The Echo has learned.

Last month, a decision was made to suspend the Trauma Orthopaedic Review Clinic at Tallaght Hospital due to “patient safety” and “recruitment challenges” – a move which has impacted on more than 8,000 children in West Dublin who use the service annually.

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In recent weeks, young patients who have fractured or broken bones that require a follow-up review or specialised treatment have been travelling to Our Lady’s Hospital in Crumlin – a situation which has placed added stress on families.

This week, a spokeswoman for Tallaght Hospital told The Echo that two new orthopaedic consultants have been appointed.

She said: “It is anticipated that each [consultant] will begin a regular paediatric fracture clinic at Tallaght Hospital in the coming weeks.

“This phased reopening of the onsite paediatric fracture service will meet approximately half of current demand at Tallaght Hospital, which is working closely with the Children’s Hospital Group to resume a third and final paediatric fracture clinic as a priority.”

She added: “Since 2013, Tallaght Hospital has referred all orthopaedic paediatric trauma patients requiring surgery to Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin and there is no change in this regard.

“Tallaght Hospital apologises for any inconvenience caused to patients and their families… [and] is actively working with the Children’s Hospital Group and the other paediatric hospitals to provide a safe and sustainable paediatric orthopaedic trauma service.”

While welcoming the quick action of the Children’s Hospital Group, Triona Murphy, the Chair of the Tallaght Hospital Action Group (THAG), has sought further clarification on the number of hours each consultant would spend in Tallaght.

Ms Murphy told The Echo: “I’m glad that the Children’s Hospital Board listened to people’s concerns and acted quickly.

“However, the action group will be watching this closely and are concerned over the ‘phased’ opening of the clinic.

“Also, the locum consultant who was based in Tallaght before the review clinic was suspended was located here full-time, these two new consultants will be working across Tallaght and Crumlin.

“Does this mean if something happens at Crumlin, or they have to attend to an emergency, that their clinic at Tallaght will be cancelled?

“We need guarantees for the review clinic at Tallaght and that it will resume a full service like before.”

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