Taoiseach opens refurbished and expanded renal dialysis unit

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, officially opened a newly refurbished and extended renal dialysis unit (RDU ) at Mayo General Hospital on Monday.

The new unit has been entirely refurbished at a cost of €2m and now provides 15 stations including two isolation rooms. It has increased the capacity of the RDU at Mayo General Hospital by four treatment stations and will provide extra capacity for up to 20 additional patients each week.

The haemodialysis unit at Mayo General Hospital opened in July 1995 providing a service for six patients initially, increasing to 40 by 2006. The unit reached its capacity of 54 patients by 2008 and since 2011 there have been up to 10 additional patients from Mayo travelling to Galway three times a week for dialysis.

The increased capacity - the unit can now treat up to 70 patients a week - will serve the population of the county now and in the longer term. It is anticipated that up to 60 patients in Mayo will require dialysis by 2014. The unit will also be able to better facilitate dialysis patients who are holidaying in the area.

Dr Donal Reddan, consultant nephrologist at Mayo General Hospital and Galway University Hospitals, stated: “This facility greatly enhances patient safety and comfort and ensures the highest standards of care can be delivered to our patients in a new, bright and airy environment. Some patients who have significant distances to travel to Galway spent in the region of eight to 10 hours three times a week accessing treatment. This was unacceptable as it is best practice to provide haemodialysis as close to patients’ homes as possible.”

Dr Reddan added: “The isolation facilities are of the highest standards and will ensure that vulnerable patients are better protected. Disinfection and maintenance facilities are also enhanced with the necessary waiting, storage, and office space improved. We are delighted that the high standard of care provided by our expert team can now be delivered in what is a world class environment here at Mayo General Hospital.”

Support in the purchase of equipment for the unit was provided by the Irish Nottingham Golf Society and the Friends of Dialysis Mayo General Hospital. The groups were thanked for their valued support for the haemodialysis service at the hospital.

As part of the visit, the Taoiseach also turned the first sod on the site of a new cystic fibrosis facility for adults and children. Construction of the new €1.3m facility is scheduled to begin at Mayo General Hospital in January 2014.

According to Charlie Meehan, general manager of Mayo General Hospital: “The cystic fibrosis clinic here at Mayo General Hospital has an outstanding and devoted medical staff. The new day care and outpatient facility will enable them to deliver the quality of care that children and adults with CF require in state of art clinical conditions.”

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