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Saolta University Health Care Group welcomes announcement of elective hospital for the West

The Saolta University Health Care Group and Galway University Hospitals (GUH) welcome today’s announcement of the progression of an elective hospital for the region.

The development of the elective site at Merlin Park University Hospital (MPUH) will support the separation of scheduled and unscheduled care, reduce cancellations and address lengthy waiting lists for elective procedures. 

Separating acute and non-acute services through this purpose built elective facility will also greatly improve efficiency.

Eight operating theatres, seven endoscopy suites and nine minor operation rooms are planned for the Galway centre which is forecast to provide 175,000 additional procedures, treatments and diagnostic appointments per year.

Procedures in the new elective hospital will be high volume, low-to-medium complexity surgeries which can be efficiently planned with dedicated theatres provided. The Elective Hospital will be focused on providing Day case, GI Endoscopy, minor operations, outpatient treatment and outpatient diagnostics services.

This will enable the Saolta Group to significantly reduce its waiting lists; by segregating GUH’s elective capacity. This development will ensure that all elective care is scheduled and not impacted by emergency or acute patients from across the Saolta region.

Welcoming today’s announcement, Tony Canavan, CEO of the Saolta Group said: “This is incredibly welcome news for our region. This development will allow us to provide vital services and earlier access to care for our growing population. The greater elective care capacity will also free up capacity in GUH for non-elective and inpatient activity and will lead to better health outcomes for our communities.”

Speaking about the plans announced by the Minister to develop a surgical hub in Galway, Mr Canavan said all initiatives to address waiting lists in the shorter term would be welcomed.

The elective hospital is one of four core infrastructure needs identified by the Saolta Group for the Galway University Hospitals site, the only Model 4 hospital for the West and Northwest.

These developments are fundamental to address the demands for GUH in providing both secondary care for the Galway catchment population and tertiary care for the entire West / North West region

  1. The Emergency Department with Women’s & Children’s Block
  2. Laboratory Replacement facilities Development
  3. Cancer Centre and additional beds ( 200 no of beds)
  4. Elective Hospital on the Merlin Park site

Each of the development requirements is grounded on service need and fully aligned to national policy.  The significant interdependencies between the above programmes mean the delivery of all components are needed to address the key infrastructural challenges of the Model 4 Hospital. 

“The delivery of the elective hospital on the MPUH site will provide the much needed capacity for effective function of the emergency, elective and cancer programmes for the region.  However, addressing the sub-optimal facilities and capacity shortfall in UHG is essential. 

“It is only the delivery of all four components as set out above that will address the key infrastructural challenges of the Model 4 Hospital for the patients of the West / North West Region,” added Mr Canavan.

Prof Pat Nash, Chief Clinical Director for the Saolta Group said: “The new elective hospital located on the Merlin Park site will significantly improve patient access to elective care by reducing waiting times and cancellations.  It will allow the Saolta Group significantly increase the level of day-surgery it provides and reduce length of stay for patients in line with best international practice.

“This is a welcome first step towards addressing the critical infrastructure needs at our only Model 4 hospital for the West and Northwest region. The progression of the new permanent ED and Women’s and Children’s block, a Cancer Centre and ward block, a replacement laboratory and inpatient beds for Merlin Park remain key priorities,” he added.

Chris Kane, Hospital Manager for GUH said: “The provision of the elective hospital was a vital step in providing the highest quality of care to patients’ across the region.

“We want to ensure that the region has a Model 4 hospital that meets the highest standards to enable the delivery of the best possible outcomes for patients across the West and North West of Ireland. We recognise that this will take considerable time to achieve, however, we are working to progress this on a phased basis commencing with the development of the Elective Hospital,” she added.

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