New hospital grouping will benefit St Luke’s Hospital – Deering

14th May, 2013


Fine Gael Carlow/Kilkenny TD, Pat Deering, has welcomed the publication of the Higgins’ Report on the Establishment of Hospital Groups and the Small Hospital Framework, which were approved by the Cabinet earlier today (Tuesday). Deputy Deering added that St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny will benefit from working together with other hospitals as part of the new Dublin East Hospital Group.

“The establishment of Hospital Groups represents the biggest reorganisation of Irish hospitals in the history of the State. By working together as part of a group, hospitals can provide a better mix of services to their patients safely and more efficiently. It is very difficult to achieve real reform under the current system where hospitals exist in isolation. The new hospital groups will lead to greater co-ordination and cooperation and, ultimately, a better level of care.

“St Luke’s in Kilkenny will now be part of the Dublin East Hospital Group. It will also include Wexford General Hospital, Midland Regional Hospital Mullingar, Loughlinstown, St Michael’s Dun Laoghiare, St Vincent’s University Hospital, the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear, Holles St Maternity Hospital, the Mater Hospital, Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan and Cappagh Orthopaedic Hospital. The current management arrangements with Our Lady of Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital, Kilcreene will continue.

“The grouping of these hospitals will enable each hospital to specialise in certain procedures and should result in in reductions in waiting lists and trolley numbers for patients at St Luke’s. In future, staff will be recruited to the hospital group rather than to an individual hospital, meaning patients will have access to world class medical staff. The increased flexibility of staff will enable a reduction in the hours that junior doctors work, which will improve patient safety at St Luke’s and Kilcreene.

“A number of positive developments at St Luke’s are taking place this year. As part of the development of the national Acute Medicine Programme, there will be a provision of 11 additional beds. The construction of the Emergency Department day services unit, a medical assessment unit and an endoscopy suite is continuing and is on target for planned opening in 2014. Under this project, 22 day beds including 10 additional and 12 replacement day beds will be delivered.  A consultant respiratory physician is also due to be recruited on a permanent basis at the hospital to implement the Asthma Programme.

“The establishment of Hospital Groups is a key plank of the Government’s plans to introduce Universal Health Insurance. I am confident that these changes will benefit patients of St Luke’s as services are delivered in a safer and more efficient manner.”