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A&Es to close in southern hospitals revamp
[Posted: Tue 23/11/2010 by Niall Hunter, Editor www.irishhealth.com]
A major reorganisation of hospital care in Cork and Kerry has been set out in a new HSE report.
Under the plan for the long-signalled services revamp, the South Infirmary Victoria Hospital and Mercy Hospitals in Cork city will cease to provide full A&E services.
The Mercy will have a 12-hours per day-only emergency department while the South Infirmary will lose its emergency department completely and become a specialist centre for non-emergency procedures in areas like orthopaedics and eye surgery.
The Mercy will be the regional centre for several surgical and medical specialist areas.
The HSE says Bantry and Mallow General Hospitals will continue to provide acute care to their populations in addition to new outreach specialist services - however, they will no longer have full A&E services.
The two hospitals will instead have medical assessment units and urgent care centres, both of which will operate on a 12-hours per day-only basis.
Services provided in future at Bantry will include selected acute medicine and geriatric medicine, as well as day surgery.
Mallow's future services will include day surgery and outreach services, outpatient care and diagnostics and follow-up care, according to the HSE.
The South Infirmary will become a regional centre for elective (planned) orthopaedics, plastic surgery, ENT, eye surgery, pain medicine and benign gynaecological procedures. Orthopaedic services at St Mary's Hospital will move to the South Infirmary.
The Mercy will be the regional centre for elective general surgery, urology and vascular surgery and the centre for a new rehabilitation medicine service. It will take on acute medical services moving from the South Infirmary.
Complex and cancer care will be concentrated at Cork University Hospital (CUH), which will be the main specialist hospital centre for Cork and Kerry.
Some services will move from CUH to other hospitals in order to allow it to become an efficient specialist hospital for serious cancer, neurosurgery, trauma etc., according to the HSE.
The HSE says Kerry General Hospital in Tralee will continue to have a 24/7 emergency department supported by general and orthopaedic trauma surgery.
Services in Tralee are set to expand with extra medical rehabilitation beds and additional consultant appointments.
The plan also provides for consultants working in specialist teams covering a number of hospitals rather than just one, and hospitals electronically sharing diagnostic results such as blood tests and x-rays.
The reorganisation of services will begin next year.
View the "roadmap" plan for hospital services in the Cork and Kerry here
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