Two storey modular build for the provision of scheduled care will be in place until a permanent 2 storey suite over the existing outpatient department is constructed
Waterford Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has welcomed the confirmation by South South-West Acting Group CEO Ms. Tess O’Donovan that a new two storey modular will be delivered to assist with capacity constraint issues at UHW in Q4 2021. Ms. O’Donovan also confirmed that the HSE intends to use the derogation from planning rules introduced for Covid-19 related measures to progress a permanent 2 storey suite over the existing outpatient department and that the estimated timeframe is 12 months.
Senator Cummins said “I wrote to group CEO Mr. Gerry O’Dwyer on the 9th August regarding concerns about capacity issues at UHW and the cancelation of some scheduled care services. I welcome the fact that UHW management led by Grace Rothwell is taking proactive measures to maximise clinical space for acute hospital services by moving some community services off the UHW campus and utilising capacity at UPMC Whitfield. This however presents its own challenges; therefore the swift move by management and the HSE to deliver a co-locatable 2 storey modular build for the provision of scheduled services until a more permanent solution is designed and completed is very welcome.
He added “Covid-19 has changed the way services can be delivered, it is no longer feasible to have long queues of people sitting shoulder to shoulder awaiting an outpatient appointment, therefore additional capacity has to be added to the system. The permanent solution to scheduled care capacity constraints at UHW is the construction of a new 2 storey suite above the existing outpatient department and it has been confirmed to me that Stage 1 Design for this development is complete and work on procurement has begun.
“This is a further vote of confidence in UHW and is due recognition to the excellent management and staff we have at the hospital. It is clear the state will need to invest in additional capacity right across the hospital system to tackle the growing waiting lists as a result of the pandemic. That is why it is always essential to have projects like this earmarked and ready for investment as it becomes available.
Senator Cummins concluded by saying “If the HSE is to meet its ambitious target of having the two storey permanent suite completed in the next 12 months, it will need to utilise the current derogation on normal planning processes which was introduced by government for the provision of Covid-19 Infrastructural works. While I personally believe this work meets the criteria, I sincerely hope the planning department at Waterford city and county council view it in the same way.