Tuesday, 18 December 2018
Department of Health
373. To ask the Minister for Health if a commitment is being made to provide a second cath laboratory at UHW that will facilitate both diagnostic and interventional cardiology work; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52907/18]
376. To ask the Minister for Health if he is committed to provide a second cath laboratory at UHW that will facilitate both diagnostic and interventional work at UHW; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [52910/18]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 369, 370, 373, 375 and 376 together.
An independent review in 2016 concluded that the needs of the effective catchment population of University Hospital Waterford could be accommodated from a single cath lab and recommended that the operating hours of the existing cath lab, which provides interventional services, should be extended. Approval and funding has been provided for the additional staff required to facilitate this service expansion.
While the hospital group has experienced difficulties recruiting the necessary staff to facilitate the expansion in hours of operation, I am pleased to note that five staff (Grade IV Admin, Porter, Senior Cardiac Physiologist, Senior Radiographer and Staff Nurse) have now been recruited on an 8am to 8pm working day basis. Furthermore, the recruitment of a cardiologist to facilitate an increase in the operating hours of the existing cath lab is also being progressed by the HSE.
A mobile cath lab has been deployed at the hospital since October 2017 to conduct diagnostic cardiac procedures.
In July, I requested the HSE to proceed with next steps on the provision of a modular cath lab at UHW, and to revert to my Department with proposed timescales and costings. In September, the HSE submitted an options appraisal to the Department setting out alternative options for the location and operation of a second cath lab at UHW.
I have decided to proceed with the provision of a second cath lab in University Hospital Waterford in order to address waiting times at the hospital and to provide a better service for the people of Waterford and the South East. I am committed to increasing capacity for interventional work through the addition of a second lab. My understanding is that both labs will have the capability to do interventional work.
It is intended that the cost of progressing the project to design, planning and construction stages will be considered in the context of the HSE’s Capital Plan for 2019, which is currently being finalised.
A National Review of Specialist Cardiac Services is currently underway. The aim of this Review is to achieve optimal patient outcomes at population level with particular emphasis on the safety, quality and sustainability of the services that patients receive by establishing the need for an optimal configuration of a national adult cardiac service. As set out in the National Development Plan 2018-2027, investment in cardiac cath labs and other cardiac services infrastructure nationally will be informed by the outcome of the National Review, which is expected to be complete by June 2019.