A paediatric emergency department, which opened recently at University Hospital Galway, will result in the speedier assessment of young patients.
The facility, which is located within the emergency department of the regional hospital, was reconfigured from an existing space to facilitate the development.
It will accommodate all paediatric patients from new born to 16 years of age and will cater for both medical and surgical patients.
The emergency department at University Hospital Galway sees approximately 17,000 paediatric patients annually. This accounts for about 20 to 25 per cent of all presentations to the ED.
The new paediatric ED comprises six cubicles, two isolation rooms, a separate waiting area from the adult waiting area and a separate access door.
It is fully compliant with the national HSE charter ensuring complete audio-visual separation from the adult ED area. Children will no longer have to share the same waiting area as adults. The separate area is compliant with the Children First hospital policy, ensuring the safety and privacy for all paediatric patients presenting to the department.
Chris Kane, the general manager of Galway University Hospitals (UHG and Merlin Park ) says the new dedicated paediatric area in the ED will improve how the hospital cares for younger patients.
"They will now be seen in a private and family-friendly setting where they can feel as comfortable as possible. This development has been achieved through effective team working and has been an inspiring development for staff in the emergency department as well as the paediatric team themselves."
Dr Ethel Ryan, the clinical director for Women’s and Children’s Directorate and a consultant paediatrician at UHG, stated the new paediatric ED area benefits paediatric patients and their families by providing a "safe and secure environment" for them to be reviewed in with complete separation from the adult area.
"This new area provides them with full privacy and safety as per the National Children First Policy. With the increased number of clinical cubicles, paediatric patients will be seen quicker which improves patient flow through the department and reduces their waiting time to be seen."