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Relocation of Emergency Department at University Hospital Galway

The Emergency Department at UHG is moving to a new location at the front of the hospital over the coming weekend. On Saturday 08 and Sunday 09 October the service and staff will relocate to a temporary Emergency Department at the front of the hospital.

This will result in some disruption for patients and the hospital would like to apologise in advance for the additional delays which will be experienced by patients and their families during the move.

In order to minimise the impact we would request that people only attend the Emergency Department at the hospital if it is an emergency situation during the above period.

Chris Kane, General Manager, Galway University Hospitals said, “The ED move has been planned to minimise the impact on patients as far as possible, however it is inevitable that there will be some disruption as it is a 24/7 service which doesn’t have a downtime that would allow us to cease the service for the duration of the move. We would like to give advance warning to the public that they will experience delays this weekend.

“We are trying to minimise attendance at the Emergency Department from this Friday 07 October to Monday October 10 to allow the move with least impact on the service. We are asking people if at all possible to attend their GP service in the first instance. The Roscommon Injury Unit is also open from 8am to 8pm to treat a range of injuries in both adults and children over five years of age.”

Speaking about the plans for a new Emergency Department, she added, “It is necessary to move the Emergency Department from its existing location as part of essential enabling works to free up the footprint to construct a new multi-storey hospital development encompassing a new Emergency Department and Women’s and Children’s Department.

“We urgently need a new Emergency Department with the capacity to support the needs of the population in the West. University Hospital Galway, which was constructed in the 1950s, is the only Model 4 hospital in the Saolta Group and provides secondary care to Galway City, county and surrounds (346,000 population catchment) and tertiary care for the 800,000+ population across the region. Our current ED service is not resourced for the increased population and the changing demographics with growing levels of attendance by those aged 75 and over, which is a trend that will continue.”

Prof Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director for the Saolta Group said, “The temporary ED facility will have more capacity and will provide all single closed cubicles and extra resuscitation bays. Although this increase does not meet the population needs, the layout of the temporary facility provides greater privacy and dignity for patients.

“The progression of the new permanent ED and Women’s and Children’s block remains a key priority. We will continue to advocate for our patients and for a service which is fit for purpose, meets the National Clinical Care Standards and addresses service capacity and risk issues.”

Tony Canavan, Saolta University Health Care Group CEO said, “This is a welcome development for UHG as a critical step in the progression of a new Emergency Department and Women’s and Children’s Department. We are currently going through the Capital Expenditure Approval Process for this development. As per the new Public Spending Code, a Strategic Assessment Report and Preliminary Business Case Report are currently being progressed through the HSE and Department of Health. The Department of Public Expenditure and Reform will then prepare a Business Case Review Report and issue to Government thereafter for consideration and a decision to proceed (approval in principle) with the next stage of the project.

“In parallel we are proceeding with other enabling works to free up the physical space for the new ED and Women’s and Children’s Department. As part of the HSE Capital Plan 2022 we have received approval to progress the design of a new Outpatient Department in Merlin Park to accommodate the outpatient services which will be displaced by the proposed new Emergency Department and Women and Children's project and to provide capacity for outpatient services. Our aim is to progress as much of the enabling work as quickly as the capital projects process will allow and this week’s move is a significant milestone.

“We recognise that the move this weekend will be disruptive and I would like to reassure patients and staff that it is a crucial first step on the journey for a fit for purpose Emergency Department with the capacity to provide high quality, timely, patient focused care and deliver the best possible outcomes for patients.”

Photo details:

Waiting Room
Inside the waiting room in the Temporary ED at UHG.

Triage Room
One of the triage rooms in the Temporary ED at UHG.

One of the resuscitation cubicles in the Temporary ED at UHG.

Zone B
Individual treatment cubicles in the Temporary ED at UHG. The treatment cubicles are laid out in 3 areas called Zone A, Zone B and a dedicated Paediatric area called Zone P.

The article above is specific to the following Saolta hospitals:: 
University Hospital Galway (UHG)