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Hospital Accommodation

Dáil Éireann Debate, Thursday - 21 April 2011

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Ceisteanna (127)

Patrick Deering

Ceist:

129 Deputy Pat Deering asked the Minister for Health and Children if he will provide a dedicated bed in a private room in general hospitals for cystic fibrosis patients which would create a safer health environment in view of the fact that it would reduce the risk of cross-infection from hospital wards and rooms. [8893/11]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Health)

It is Department of Health policy that there must be sufficient inpatient beds to treat all people with Cystic Fibrosis who require hospitalisation. It is essential that all inpatients are cared for by multidisciplinary teams with special training in Cystic Fibrosis in single en-suite rooms.

The development of the new 100 bed unit being built at St Vincent's Hospital encompasses both inpatient and day care facilities for patients with Cystic Fibrosis. It represents a major improvement in the care of Cystic Fibrosis patients in Ireland. The development at the hospital will provide a state-of-the-art clinical building which will include up to date isolation facilities with accommodation for people with cystic fibrosis.

This 100 inpatient bed unit (in single en-suite rooms) will accommodate the needs of patients with cystic fibrosis and many other patients whose medical requirements necessitate single en suite facilities. One ward (20 beds) in the new unit will be dedicated for use by cystic fibrosis patients. Twenty per cent of the beds on each of the 5 wards will be isolation rooms. This represents best practice in terms of infection control. It will also provide 10 single day treatment rooms with en-suite sanitary facilities.

Last week I arranged communication between the various stakeholders in order to ensure that there was a common understanding about the precise arrangements related to Cystic Fibrosis patients in the new unit. The position agreed with the stakeholders is that the number of Cystic Fibrosis inpatients at St Vincent's University Hospital is expected to vary between 20 and 34. In this respect 20 inpatient beds is a minimum and not a maximum, and the number of beds with appropriately trained staff can potentially accommodate 34 patients. When the beds are not required for Cystic Fibrosis patients they will be used for other patients with a clearly agreed protocol so that there will always be beds available for patients with Cystic Fibrosis who require admission.

Both the Cystic Fibrosis Association of Ireland and St. Vincent's Hospital are satisfied that the arrangement now agreed will allow for the best utilisation of beds for those with Cystic Fibrosis and other conditions. The HSE provides Cystic Fibrosis services in a number of centres throughout Ireland. There are already some dedicated single en-suite Cystic Fibrosis beds in some of these designated specialist centres. The HSE intends to develop further inpatient adult single en-suite rooms as required in the relevant centres in line with the recommendations of their 2009 working group on Services for People with Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland. For example plans are in train to provide such rooms to cater for up to 12 adults with Cystic Fibrosis at Cork University Hospital.

The Government is acutely aware of the challenges that people with cystic fibrosis and their families face in managing their condition and fully acknowledges the need for and support the provision of dedicated accommodation in an environment which allows appropriate isolation for improved infection control. The Government supports the continued roll-out of regional services for patients with cystic fibrosis.

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