New €15m suite opens at Limerick hospital

New €15m suite opens at Limerick hospital

Assistant director of nursing Katie Sheehan with her colleagues Eimear Breen, Aideen Barrow, and Mary Russell, outside Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.

A STATE-OF-THE-ART theatre suite has opened this week at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.

The €15m facility – which the HSE says is Ireland’s most modern – has four operating theatres, a new sterile services department, a reception area, a first stage recovery room and other ancillary support spaces.

The complex is located on the first floor of the hospital’s Maigue Unit, which was developed as part of the nationally-funded UL Hospitals Group response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the region.

Colette Cowan, the chief executive officer of the UL Hospitals Group said the opening of the theatre suite has been welcome.

“This is a hugely important day in the history of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, which is one of the most venerable hospitals in this part of Ireland. Now, thanks to the efforts and input of so many stakeholders, and the great work of HSE Capital and Estates, the design team, and the main contractor Clancy Construction, it stands proudly among the finest hospitals in the country. It’s a facility that is worthy of our excellent staff and nothing less than the patients of this region deserve. I wish everyone well as they begin to work in the new facility and write new and ever more exciting chapters in the ongoing success story of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.”

Chief clinical director of the UL Hospitals Group, Prof Brian Lenehan, is an orthopaedic surgeon and said he is immensely proud not just of the new suite and what it represents, but also of everyone involved in the design and build.

“This is the premier operating theatre suite in Ireland,” Prof Lenehan said. “Up until now, the facilities here have been very dated, with only two theatres and a very small Sterile Services Department to cater for the high volume of orthopaedic procedures. Now, we have a very large theatre complex with which we will be able to expand our outputs by 100 per cent, and a Sterile Services Department that is now fit for purpose and future-proofed.”

Opening on a phased basis, the new suite, when fully operational, will take Croom from a hospital with five operating surgeons in two theatres, to 10 surgeons in four theatres catering for a range of orthopaedic disciplines including hips, knees, spine, foot, ankle, shoulder, sports knee, and ambulatory trauma, as well as general surgery, including vascular, ENT and maxillofacial.

“There won’t be a hospital like this built in Ireland in the next five years,” Prof Lenehan stated.

Croom Orthopaedic Hospital first opened as the county hospital in 1924, and has been an orthopaedic facility since 1956, save for two months in mid-2020, when it accepted its first medical patients in almost 70 years as part of the group’s strategy for managing a surge in non-Covid admissions.

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