15 Aug 2022

WATCH: Strategy aims to deliver 150 more beds at Limerick hospital

A NEW five-year strategy has been unveiled at St John's Hospital Limerick which could lead to a new 150-bed complex.

Unveiled today at an event on the site earmarked for the new building to the rear of the existing hospital, the strategy aims to help St John's play a role in addressing the hospital capacity requirements in the region.

It was developed by its board following consultation with staff, doctors in the region, workers at other hospitals in the University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG), its patient forum and the wider public.

The proposal addresses the necessary capacity requirement to tackle public waiting lists by accommodating a very significant proportion of the scheduled care work in the region.

The hospital says it also provides solutions to the critical needs associated with the public waiting lists.

St John’s Hospital already has the 6th busiest endoscopy list and 12th busiest elective surgery list in the country, as well as the second busiest injury unit in the country.

The central plank of the blueprint is the development of a new €60m facility with increased single en-suite rooms providing services for the management of chronic diseases.

It will see St John's patient capacity more than double, from 89 to 200.

Hospital staff have predicted the development will generate 667 full-time equivalent jobs in the region.

Some 52 front-line roles will be created in the medical facility itself comprising clinicians and support roles.

The hospital's chief executive Emer Martin said: "St. John’s has made an incredible contribution to healthcare in Limerick for almost two and a half centuries and to this day delivers outstanding results. However, it’s also been long since acknowledged that the facilities here are simply not fit for the purpose or the people; our exceptional people who come to work here every day and the patients that they give that exceptional care to. That, essentially, is what this strategy is all about, finding a way to deliver this outstanding care in a modern, high-tech hospital to many more people across Limerick and the Mid-West.”

Chairman of the board of St John’s Hospital Bishop Brendan Leahy said: “Limerick people and the people of the wider Mid-West region have a huge appreciation and connection with St. John’s and that’s because of the standards of care delivered here, as indicated by both patient surveys and, indeed, HIQA’s latest inspection of St John’s in March this year.  You do not build up an affinity and respect like that unless you do things particularly well and, in such a challenged space as healthcare, that makes the women and men who come here to deliver care every day best-in-class.

Ms Martin acknowledged the blueprint is ambitious and challenging.

"But we have the determination, resolve and resilience to fulfil our plan. We look forward to working with our patients, our staff, our healthcare partners and our local community to make our vision a reality," she concluded.

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