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Mr Cian Kennedy, Orthopaedic Surgeon, pictured in the new theatre suite at Croom Orthopaedic Hospital.

New operating suite enhances region’s surgical capacity

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CROOM Orthopaedic Hospital has made another great leap forward in service quality this summer, when the doors of Ireland’s most modern operating theatre suite were opened recently.

The brand new €15 million theatre suite has four operating theatres, increasing the hospital’s surgical capacity volume by 100 per cent, a new Sterile Services Department, a reception area, a first stage recovery room and other ancillary support spaces.

According to the UL Hospitals’ Group, it is a key part of the effort to rejuvenate and develop Croom Orthopaedic Hospital as a beacon of surgical and nursing excellence and professional advancement, with major benefits for patient experience in the Mid-West.

The new complex is situated on the first floor of the hospital’s state-of-the-art Maigue Unit, which has been developed as part of the nationally-funded UL Hospitals’ Group response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the region, and with funding from the Mid-Western Hospitals Development Trust.

The Trust acknowledged the significant contribution from the JP McManus Pro-Am, without whose assistance this new complex would not have been completed.

An appropriately high-specification complement to the 24 en-suite single rooms on the ground floor of the Maigue Unit, the new theatre complex benefits not just from architectural and construction excellence, but also from the attention to detail in the design and build, which took account of inputs from a multidisciplinary blend of stakeholders, including nursing and theatre staff, nurse management, surgeons, infection prevention and control, and operational services.

For Colette Cowan, Chief Executive Officer of UL Hospitals Group, the opening of the theatre suite has been particularly welcome, given her passionate advocacy for the ongoing development of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital into a healthcare facility without parallel in terms of training, development, standards of care and patient experience.

“This is a hugely important day in the history of Croom Orthopaedic Hospital, which is one of the most venerable hospitals in this part of Ireland. Now, thanks to the efforts and input of so many stakeholders, and the great work of HSE Capital and Estates, the design team, and the main contractor Clancy Construction, it stands proudly among the finest hospitals in the country. It’s a facility that is worthy of our excellent staff and nothing less than the patients of this region deserve,” Ms Cowan said.*

Chief Clinical Director of UL Hospitals Group, Professor Brian Lenehan, who is an orthopaedic surgeon at the hospital, said he was immensely proud not just of the new suite and what it represents, but also of everyone involved in the design and build.

“This is the premier operating theatre suite in Ireland,” Prof Lenehan said. “Up until now, the facilities here have been very dated, with only two theatres and a very small Sterile Services Department to cater for the high volume of orthopaedic procedures. Now, we have a very large theatre complex with which we will be able to expand our outputs by 100 per cent, and a Sterile Services Department that is now fit for purpose and future-proofed.”

Every part of the new complex has been designed and built to the most modern standards, inspired by and improving upon the most recent developments in the country. The spacious recovery room in the suite has eight patient bays, including two full isolation rooms.

There are cameras within the lighting systems in each theatre that can video-stream the activity in one theatre onto screens in another. The Sterile Services Department alone is a long-sought improvement that is an exponential advance in workspace quality and spaciousness.

By Dan Danaher

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