CHI announces winter plans as Tallaght unit reopens

‘Children’s Health Ireland needs to respond to the demands of Covid-19 and the flu season’

Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) has announced plans to change the way it will manage beds and services this coming winter.

In a statement issued last night (Wednesday, September 2), a spokesperson said CHI needed to respond to the demands that Covid-19 and the flu season will place on its hospitals and staff.

CHI also said that from today the Children’s Hospital in Tallaght will re-open to all patients except critically ill children.

The Tallaght unit was closed temporarily in March as a result of the pandemic, with acute services transferred to CHI emergency departments at Crumlin and Temple Street.

Critically ill or critically injured children will still be treated at Crumlin and Temple Street, CHI has confirmed.

“Every winter our paediatric service doubles its medical admissions, primarily due to respiratory illness, flu and other viral illnesses,” the spokesperson said.

“This winter we have a new unknown and additional challenge of Covid-19, which already has decreased our inpatient and day-case capacity and patient flow through all areas by approximately 20 per cent.

“Having taken this into account, we need to manage our beds and services differently this winter across our services in CHI.”

Plans to consolidate specific services (in-patient surgery, neurosurgery, day surgery), and to use a citywide approach across Crumlin, Tallaght, and Temple Street for other services, such as access for medical admissions, were being accelerated, the spokesperson added.

CHI has also implemented a 24-hour, single-bed management system and process across its four locations at Crumlin, Tallaght, Temple Street and at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.

“This means if a child needs to be admitted from one of CHI’s Emergency Department/Unit or Urgent Care Centre they may be admitted to an inpatient bed in another hospital in the city,” the spokesperson explained.

“This is a change for the families we serve and for staff in CHI.”

The CHI also issued a reminder that anyone aged 13 years and older visiting a CHI unit must wear a face mask.

“Face coverings help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others,” a spokesperson said.

“Children over 13 years and their parent/guardian should wear a face covering when attending any of CHI’s emergency, urgent care, outpatients, admissions /day wards.

“Face coverings are not required for children under 13 years, unless clinically advised.”

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