New maternity hospital planned for Galway by 2024

A new maternity hospital is on the cards for Galway in the next four to five years. The facility at University Hospital Galway will be accommodated in the four floors above the new emergency department.

The news came in response to a question from Cllr Donagh Killilea at a meeting of the Regional Health Forum West on Tuesday. He asked if there were plans in place to upgrade the maternity section of the west’s biggest hospital.

Ann Cosgrove, chief operations officer of Saolta University Health Care Group, said that some minor works, including painting of ward areas has taken place in the long corridor and ward areas of that department. She outlined that some changes “to flow” have been made as well to create efficiencies in services provided. She said Saolta had additionally provided an improved facility for the ambulatory gynaecological and early pregnancy assessment unit.

“In addition, we are incorporating the women’s and children’s service into the new emergency department/women’s and children’s building project, where it is planned that obstetrics and paediatrics will be accommodated in the four floors above the ED.”

She outlined that the current maternity unit was constructed in the 1950s and was not built “in one go”. Over the years there were additions included which meant the building did not have the “natural flow” of a custom built unit. These were small refurbishments as distinct from major developments, she said.

She added there are plans to replace the maternity unit and this facility will accommodated in the new emergency department/women’s and children’s building project.

Cllr Killilea, a Fianna Fianna Fáil councillor for Tuam, stressed that the care is good at the maternity unit. He said it was a “fantastic place to be”, however, it needed modernisation.

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