The new modular Acute Covid Assessment Unit (ACAU ) at Mayo University Hospital is operational from yesterday, Thursday 17 December.
The new unit will provide seven acute assessment beds and will mean improved access to hospital services for patients with Covid-19 or suspected of having Covid-19.
In addition it will mean that day case beds and acute medical assessment beds, which had been used to care for patients with Covid-19 to date, can return to their original use.
This will enable direct access for patients who need acute medical services or endoscopy services and will also reduce the patient wait time in the Emergency Department.
Catherine Donohoe, Hospital Manager said, "Patients coming to the hospital will see the new unit outside our Emergency Department. However, as we will be clinically streaming patients in advance of entering the Emergency Department, patients should follow the Emergency Department entrance signs and we will direct relevant patients to the new unit as required.
"Due to the layout of the hospital, we were unable to connect the unit to the hospital directly so patients who need to be treated in the new ACAU will have a short walk outside to access it.
"The new unit is however closer than the entrance to the Medical Assessment Unit we have been using to date to assess patients with Covid-19 or suspected of having Covid-19. Patients will not have to wait or queue outside.
"Our priority has been to get the new unit installed as quickly and efficiently as possible ahead of the winter demand so that we can free up our Medical Assessment Unit for use by GPs to refer patients directly to our medical consultants.
"Having a dedicated assessment unit for Covid also frees up space in our Day Services Department and Endoscopy Unit and this will allow us to increase access to elective day case procedures and we will now be focusing on reducing the wait times for these services.
"I’d like to thank all our patients and staff for their co-operation and understanding during the construction works."