New era dawns for Clonmel hospital as new forty bed unit to be handed over to hospital management on Thursday

Eamon Lacey

Reporter:

Eamon Lacey

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elacey@nationalist.ie

A game changing €20m investment will bring South Tipperary General Hospital into a new era in the delivery of hospital services with a new forty bed state of the art unit to be handed over to hospital management this Thursday.

The investment will bring massive relief to the chronic overcrowding that has plagued the Clonmel hospital and according to Professor Peter Murchan it will enshrine the future of the hospital.

“It will bring a huge relief to the indignity so many patients endured on trolleys, it will allow staff to deliver a better service and it will knock back any notion of the hospital losing services or being downgraded in any way” said Professor Murchan.

The facility, which will provide forty single ensuite rooms, will be formally handed over to hospital management this Thursday and within weeks it will be able to accommodate patients.

Mr. Murchan paid tribute to hospital manager Maria Barry, staff at the hospital and the HSE for the part they all played in the development.

The hospital consultant said the political influence of Deputy Michael Lowry with the government secured the funding for the project.

“The political reality is that the government needed my support and I had one command and that was for the delivery of a major project to the constituency which was the investment in a new forty bed unit for South Tipperary General Hospital” said Deputy Lowry.

The €20 investment in South Tipperary General Hospital is the biggest investment in the hospital since the historic 2007 amalgamation of medical and surgical services in Clonmel.

The forty new beds will bring the total bed complement to over two hundred beds at the hospital.

It will create one hundred and nine new jobs comprising of nurses, doctors, health and social care professionals, healthcare assistants, clerical and support staff .

“The new department will mark a significant improvement for patients and will be a welcome addition to the in-patient services, enabling the hospital to accommodate patients in an environment that can cater to complex needs” said hospital manager Maria Barry.

When the handover of the unit is completed on Thursday, cleaning, stocking and equipment commissioning will commence. That process will take a number of weeks.

“The equipment has been secured and is in storage and the staff are ready to go” said Ms Barry.

She said that recruitment for the new unit was now in its final sta ge. A good number of the new staff had already been on site since Christmas.

Deputy Michael Lowry said that the problems at South Tipperary General Hospital had been ignored for years.

“Now despite the doubters, this project has been delivered and it secures the future of the hospital” said Deputy Lowry.

The Independent TD said that he had an understanding with the government that had delivered the project.

“This investment in the hospital and the delivery of the new modular unit was my priority project with the government. The political reality was that the government needed my support. The political influence I exerted and my ability to work on delivering it over three years has put STGH in a very strong position at a time when hospitals all over the country are clamouring to secure resources.

“Clonmel is the only location where a new unit has been delivered, one is on the way at Limerick University Hospital but that is it throughout the whole country.

“I would like to thank Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Health Minister Simon Harris for their support in bringing this to fruition,” said Deputy Lowry.

Less than twelve months after the modular units arrived on site, the forty bed unit will be formally handed over to hospital management this Thursday and within weeks it will be able to accommodate patients. The new facility will provide forty single ensuite rooms.

Twenty beds will open first on a Surgical 3 ward and some weeks later a further twenty beds will open on Medical 4.

“People will be amazed at the quality and standard of what has been delivered in this hospital with the provision of this new forty bed unit” said Consultant Peter Murchan who along with Professor Paud O'Regan, have proven to be powerful advocates for long awaited investment in the hospital.

Mr. Murchan said that the busy hospital will always be under pressure but that the forty beds should bring massive relief to the trolley issue at STGH.

He said Clonmel was a big general hospital which has had to live with doubts hanging over the future of a number of the services being delivered at the hospital for years.

“With this investment all those fears can now be consigned to the past” said Professor Murchan.

The new modular unit, a 3,300 sqm space, is linked to the existing hospital building by corridor and its spacious rooms, room specific equipment and modern layout is in stark contrast to the older parts of the hospital which dates back to 1850.

Clonmel hospital overcrowding