Tuesday, 2 July 2019

Questions (73)

Louise O'Reilly


73. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if the necessary staff have been recruited to ensure that the paediatric outpatient department and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital can be operational from 8 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week, as was previously committed. [27659/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

The new Children’s Health Ireland paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital is due to open on 31 July 2019.  

The unit will provide a range of services, including urgent care for the treatment of minor injury and illnesses and a short stay observation unit, where children are observed and treated for up to 6 hours before being discharged or, in a very small number of cases, referred onwards to one of the children’s hospitals. The delivery of urgent care services will initially be provided on a phased basis. Children's Health Ireland will be confirming the exact opening hours shortly. During the initial opening phase, two specialties will also deliver outpatient services at the unit, Monday to Friday 08.00- 18.00; these are General Paediatric services and Orthopaedic services which will provide a fracture clinic.  

The recruitment of staff for the new unit is well advanced in respect of medical, nursing, health and social care professional and administrative staff. There are recruitment challenges nationally and internationally in certain specialities, such as consultant paediatric radiology.  Children’s Health Ireland has advised that while recruitment is ongoing in this area, contingency plans are under development to support these services at the unit.  

All nursing positions have been successfully filled within the organisation. The Health and Social Care Professionals and administrative and operations posts are being filled through an internal recruitment campaign with an external recruitment campaign to follow if additional posts need to be backfilled within CHI.