New unit at CUH opens

CORK University Hospital’s new €85m Cardiac Renal Centre is officially opened today, Friday 22nd October 2010, by An Taoiseach, Mr Brian Cowen TD.

The Cardiac Renal Centre will see services centralised at CUH ensuring patients have access, on one site, to the combined expertise and skills of staff who care for people with cardiac and renal conditions.

The Centre, which commenced construction in July 2007, following an 8 year planning phase, was handed over to the HSE in early 2010. Spanning 13,000m2, over 6 floors, the new Unit represents the most significant service development in relation to Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Surgery and Renal Medicine respectively in the region to date. This development of the Centre has been a consultative process throughout involving staff and patient representatives from the Irish Heart Foundation and the Irish Kidney Association.

The Centre cost €85m in total; €68m allocated to the building works and €17m for equipping.

Prof Richard Greene, Clinical Director, CUH said, “The opening of the new Cardiac Renal Centre in CUH is a significant development. This new Centre is about ensuring patients in the region have access to the best treatment from specialist staff in the most appropriate environment. I would like to acknowledge the hard work and commitment of all those involved in this project. This was a major development to bring to fruition and also involves the ongoing centralisation of cardiac and renal services; a complex process but one that is essential if we are to ensure the best possible outcome and quality of life for patients in the region.”

The transfer of services to the state of the art Centre commenced on a phased basis in July 2010. The service will initially transfer at the existing level of service within CUH with additional services due to transfer during November 2010.

Renal Services:

The Cardiac Renal Centre sees the centralisation of renal services on one site. Facilities in the new Centre include;

· 35 station Haemodialysis Unit which includes 2 isolation rooms and 3 High Dependency stations

· Peritoneal Dialysis (PD) suite which facilitates patient PD training and patient management (patients are trained on home dialysis and how to manage their care at home, monitored by the Hospital)

· 30 bedded inpatient Renal Ward (including a High Dependency Unit)

The Dialysis Unit has increased from 22 stations over three sites to 35 stations in one unit. This increased capacity enables patients to have their dialysis between 7.00am and 12 midnight, eliminating the need for patients to attend during the night. An emergency out of hours service is available if required.

The Peritoneal Dialysis service (a home based dialysis system) has benefited patients in that their training and education is now provided in a state of the art suite of treatment and training rooms which allows for better clinical facilities and greater privacy for individual patients.

The Renal Service will deliver more than 24,000 haemodialysis treatments in 2010; an increase on 2009 when 23,200 treatments were delivered.

Speaking at the opening, Dr Liam Plant, National Clinical Director of the HSE National Renal Office and Consultant Renal Physician at Cork University Hospital welcomed the formal opening of the Cardiac-Renal Centre at CUH and said, “This facility incorporates the largest and most modern Haemodialysis Unit in Ireland. As a consequence, patients no longer need to travel for treatment after midnight. It has a capacity to expand to treat up to 170 patients, as well as provide emergency treatments for patients with Acute Kidney Failure. In addition, the Peritoneal Dialysis Unit has the most extensive suite of treatment rooms in Ireland. Centralisation of the multi-disciplinary teams on this site will allow for more focussed patient care, with dialysis, OPD suites and in-patient facilities all located close together. More than 500 patients in Cork and Kerry have End-Stage Kidney Disease (needing dialysis or a transplant) and many hundreds more have less severe, but nonetheless significant, chronic kidney disease. This facility secures the continued development of Renal Services in the South West and sharing the facility with Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery makes enormous sense – cardiac disease is much more common in patients with renal disease, and vice versa. This facility will simplify the care pathway for many such patients.”

Cardiac Services:

Cardiology services, which are transferring on a phased basis to the new Centre, will see patients having access to the full range of cardiology services and expertise.

Cardiothoracic Surgery facilities include:

* 2 Cardiac Theatres
* 10 Cardiac Intensive Care Unit beds
* 12 Cardiac High Dependency Unit beds
* 34 Cardiothoracic Ward beds

Cardiology Facilities include;

* 5 Catheterisation Laboratory Rooms
* 10 associated day / recovery beds
* 8 Coronary Care Unit beds
* 10 Cardiology Step-down beds
* 9 Specialist Monitoring Unit beds
* 29 Cardiology Ward beds
* Non-Invasive Cardiology & Outpatient Department
* Cardiac Rehabilitation Unit

Mr Aonghus O’Donnell, Consultant Cardio-thoracic Surgeon, CUH said, “The opening of the Cardiac Renal Centre today allows for the integration of acute services, out patient services, cardiac rehabilitation, health promotion and patient education in one readily accessible unit for patients with cardiovascular and thoracic disease. This new facility provides a much enhanced environment for all our patients and we are delighted to be part of this significant development for cardiac services in the region.”

Mr Tony McNamara, CEO, Cork University Hospital speaking at the official opening said, ‘This is a very proud day for everyone involved in the delivery of cardiac and renal services. This development provides world class infrastructure and the challenge for leaders at all levels is to develop a service that is truly world class; a challenge I am certain staff working in this service will meet.”

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