Dáil Éireann - Volume 679 - 31 March, 2009
Written Answers. - Hospital Services.
Deputy Willie Penrose Deputy Willie Penrose
Deputy Willie Penrose asked the Minister for Health and Children the progress being made in developing specific fully staffed cystic fibrosis units in designated hospitals; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [13081/09]
Deputy Mary Harney Deputy Mary Harney
Deputy Mary Harney: I have consistently emphasised the need to improve facilities and services for persons with cystic fibrosis. In particular, I have asked the Health Service Executive to focus on developing services at the National Adult Tertiary Referral Centre at St. Vincent’s Hospital. Considerable improvements have been made at the hospital. Since 2006, 19 additional staff have been recruited and the physical infrastructure has been enhanced through the refurbishment last year of accommodation to provide eight single en suite rooms for the exclusive use of people with cystic fibrosis. There are currently 63 beds at St. Vincent’s Hospital used for respiratory/cystic fibrosis services.
 Phase 2 of the development of St Vincent’s is being designed to provide a new clinical building which will include 120 replacement beds. The new facility will include appropriate isolation facilities with accommodation for cystic fibrosis patients as required. Design work and preparation of tender documents is continuing in respect of the development.
Beyond St Vincent’s Hospital, a number of other significant capital developments are being progressed for patients with cystic fibrosis. For example, the 2008 budget included €2.5m capital funding to enable Beaumont Hospital to provide ambulatory care for people with cystic fibrosis. This project has now gone to tender. Patients with cystic fibrosis will also benefit from additional single rooms in the new Medical Admissions Unit, which is due for completion in the middle of this year.
On the staffing side, some 48 additional staff, including consultant, nursing and allied health professionals, have been appointed across the hospital system in recent years to enhance the level of services provided for persons with cystic fibrosis. I am conscious that further improvements are required, including the need to develop community outreach services and to facilitate the treatment of patients outside of a hospital setting where appropriate. My Department has asked the HSE to reply directly to the Deputy in respect of other individual hospitals.
Dáil Éireann 679 Written Answers. Hospital Services.