A CONTRACT for the completion of the new emergency department and a new 24-bed dialysis unit at the University Hospital Limerick has been announced. The facilities will cost an estimated €25m.
The successful contractor, John Sisk & Son Holdings, began setting up on site last week, and it is expected that the two projects will take approximately 18 months to complete.
The new emergency department will be located on the ground floor of the critical care block and the adjacent extension, and it is expected to be three times the size of the current emergency department in Dooradoyle.
A state-of-the-art dialysis unit will be located on the first floor of the extension block on the same floor level as the hospital’s new intensive care unit.
UL Hospitals Group CEO Colette Cowan welcomed the announcement, and said that she was delighted to have the builders on site.
“Once delivered, it will mean a much improved patient experience in terms of access and their journey through the hospital,” she said.
“It will also mean more dignity and privacy for our patients, who when this is complete will be treated in pod-like facilities where they will get specialist care.
“Within the new build there will be areas for the elderly, for paediatric patients, for major injuries, more minor injuries and so on – with the different cohorts of patients grouped together than all mixed and the patient flows more efficiently managed,” she said.
She conceded that the original plan to have the opening date by the end of 2016 may not be met, but added that it is “important to plan such a complex project properly”.
“We had to plan for the various engineering challenges which we need to overcome in ensuring continuity of care for patients while such a major project is underway and also had to allow for the necessary due diligence and tender clarification process before the contract could be awarded.
“What we want is a facility that the region and the country can be proud of - and which is no less than our patients and staff deserve,” she said.