In 2016, the Herity Report concluded that the needs of the effective catchment population of University Hospital Waterford (UHW) could be accommodated from a single cath lab and recommended that the operating hours of the existing cath lab should be extended. Approval and funding has been provided for the additional staff required to facilitate this service expansion and five staff (Grade IV Admin, Porter, Senior Cardiac Physiologist, Senior Radiographer and Staff Nurse) have now been recruited on an 8am to 8pm working day basis. Furthermore, the recruitment of a cardiologist to facilitate an increase in the operating hours of the existing cath lab is also being progressed by the HSE.
A mobile cath lab has also been deployed at UHW since October 2017 to conduct diagnostic cardiac procedures.
I remain committed to the provision of a second cath lab in University Hospital Waterford. The cost of progressing the project to design, planning and construction stages will be addressed in the context of the HSE’s Capital Plan for 2019, which is currently being finalised.
The Herity Report also recommended that the current 9 to 5 provision of emergency pPCI services should cease to allow the hospital focus on the much larger volume of planned work. I asked my Department to address the implications of this recommendation by arranging for a National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services. The aim of this Review is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive by establishing the need for an optimal configuration of a national adult cardiac service.