UHG team wins HSE excellence award

Pictured at the HSE Excellence Awards were :- Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group; Suzanne Dempsey (who presented the award); Margaret Tarpey, laboratory manager and chief medical scientist, Blood and Tissue Establishment; Aoife Conroy, medical scientist, Blood and Tissue Establishment; Maeve Wallace, quality manager and Dr Amjad Hayat.

Pictured at the HSE Excellence Awards were :- Maurice Power, CEO, Saolta University Health Care Group; Suzanne Dempsey (who presented the award); Margaret Tarpey, laboratory manager and chief medical scientist, Blood and Tissue Establishment; Aoife Conroy, medical scientist, Blood and Tissue Establishment; Maeve Wallace, quality manager and Dr Amjad Hayat.

A UHG team which provides routine and emergency blood and blood product services to UHG, Merlin Park and hospitals in the surrounding area has clinched two prestigious awards at the national HSE Excellence Awards.

The Serum Eye Drop Programme, which was developed at UHG’s Blood and Tissue Establishment, walked away with the “Popular Choice” and “Best Team” awards.

These eye drops are used to treat patients with a range of eye issues, such as burns, Sjorens Sydrome, graft versus host disease and severe dry eye. The product has been reported to alleviate pain in and behind the eye, result in better vision and greatly improve the quality of life for these patients, many of whom are young adults.

More than 300 projects from all over the country entered the 2017 Health Service Excellence Awards, which are open to staff working in the publicly funded health system. Eleven innovative projects got through to the final shortlist after a rigorous selection process. These projects highlight the fact that so many HSE staff are working to deliver better services with easier access and higher quality care for patients.

The Galway Blood and Tissue Establishment (GBTE ) at Galway University Hospital, has dedicated years of service to obtaining the Good Manufacturing Practice licence to produce autologous and allogeneic serum eye drops. Galway University Hospital is the only hospital in Ireland licensed to produce serum eye drops, which are a serum-derived product used to treat a range of ocular surface disorders.

There are many patients throughout the country whose lives have been dramatically improved due to this treatment. Without it, patients would have to go abroad for the service.

Maurice Power, the group CEO of the Saolta University Health Care Group, said it was “enormously proud” of this unique programme.

“It has huge potential which we hope to develop in the very near future. The recognition that the team has earned by winning the Popular Choice Award here today is much deserved and highly valued by the entire group. As there is no other site in Ireland manufacturing this product all aspects of the procedure from patient assessment and acceptance, donation, production release, and follow-up has been devised entirely by the team here in GUH. Congratulations to everyone who has worked so hard to deliver such excellent results.”

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