New beds for Mercy; Hospital staff set to rise by 100

New beds for Mercy; Hospital staff set to rise by 100

A mobile MRI unit has been installed outside Mercy University Hospital, Cork to facilitate upgrade works within the hospital. Pic; Larry Cummins

A major project is underway at the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) which will see 30 new beds and two new surgical suites added to the hospital over the next year.

The new project forms part of a programme of capital development with an investment totalling approximately €28m.

The hospital currently has 321 beds and four theatres and is progressing a project under Covid-19 emergency legislation which will see the new beds and theatres incorporated into a new three-storey modular build structure.

A spokesperson for the hospital said that the two new state of the art theatre complexes will be installed on the third floor of the build and “will enhance patient experience and enable the hospital to maintain and advance its surgical programmes”.

The addition of 30 extra beds in both single and multi-bed en-suite bedrooms over two floors will facilitate essential hospital functions in terms of bed capacity and assist the hospital in disease management pathways and improved patient flow.

A fast-track construction process is being utilised to deliver the project using off-site fabrication of elements.

 A mobile MRI unit has been installed outside Mercy University Hospital, Cork to facilitate upgrade works within the hospital. The Siemens MRI scanner, provided by Alliance Medical, will be temporarily in position as an extension is completed at the city centre hospital.Pic; Larry Cummins
A mobile MRI unit has been installed outside Mercy University Hospital, Cork to facilitate upgrade works within the hospital. The Siemens MRI scanner, provided by Alliance Medical, will be temporarily in position as an extension is completed at the city centre hospital.Pic; Larry Cummins

The spokesperson explained that a range of preparatory on-site enabling works are in progress at the Mercy, including the provision of new temporary disabled parking bays and set-down bays for the hospital, a new traffic management plan for Henry St, the relocation of the MRI service to a temporary unit on Henry St, and the relocation of hospital deliveries. This work is due to be completed in the summer of 2022.

The hospital is also replacing the prefabricated structure, which until very recently housed the radiology department, with a new and expanded three-story modular build.

The newly-demolished 40-year-old radiology department building originally catered for 16 staff members, with approximately 26,000 examinations per annum.

There are now approximately 54 staff members and upwards of 75,000 examinations each year.

The hospital spokesperson said the new accommodation will incorporate five ultrasound screening rooms and will provide staff with work facilities commensurate with all infection-control requirements. The redevelopment of the radiology department is expected to be complete by early autumn.

The programme of capital development incorporates a range of other major and minor capital works, including recently-completed works on expanding the hospital’s emergency department (ED) and surge intensive care unit (ICU) capacity.

The ED works saw the installation of additional accommodation to allow for extra clinical capacity through the provision of more waiting areas with infection prevention controls in line with national Covid-19 protocols; triage rooms; and assessment/treatment cubicles, which the hospital says has greatly assisted with its Covid-19 response.

There was also significant investment in infrastructure and equipment to allow the hospital to maximise its critical-care capacity.

The spokesperson explained that during the acute phase of Covid-19, the hospital opened an additional ICU bed (sixth bed) and identified a surge area (four beds) within the hospital, to provide additional critical care services.

Minor works include ongoing works to replace lifts and undertake electrical upgrades.

The spokesperson for the hospital said that all these developments will result in the hospital’s staff numbers increasing by approximately 11%, or 100 posts, in the next two years.

MUH CEO, Sandra Daly, said the investment will allow the hospital to address its urgent infrastructural and clinical needs and that the schedule of expansion will also allow the hospital to respond in a timely manner to current and future healthcare demand.

“These developments will ensure that as the 21st century progresses, MUH will continue to serve the people of Cork and beyond in a responsive and safe manner, with healthcare facilities that deliver safe, effective care to those who need it most,” she said.

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