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 and recruitment is progressing.
A mobile cath lab has been deployed at UHW since October 2017 to conduct diagnostic cardiac procedures pending the recruitment of the additional staff required to extend the opening hours of the existing cath lab.
I remain committed to the provision of a second cath lab in University Hospital Waterford and I asked the HSE to consider the cost of progressing the project to design, planning and construction stages in the context of the HSE’s Capital Plan for 2019.
The HSE has confirmed that this project has now been included in the HSE’s Capital Programme 2019 and that it is expected that the Planning Permission application will be lodged by the end of this year.
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 his Department to address the implications of this recommendation by arranging for a National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services, which is underway.
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.
Drafting of the report will continue over the summer and it is expected that this work to be finalised in early September.