Ward deal sees beds kept for CF patients

Plans for the ward at CUH

A compromise has been reached in a row between a cystic fibrosis (CF) charity and a Cork hospital that will pave the way for the development of a new €2.3m respiratory ward.

The compromise will see a number of beds on the adult ward at Cork University Hospital (CUH) ringfenced for CF patients, which is what Build4Life, the charity funding the ward, had requested.

However it is understood the number of protected beds has been scaled back from what was originally proposed when the project was first mooted in 2011.

The charity had suggested that eight to 10 beds would be ringfenced but it is understood the final figure is closer to half that number. The hospital had been pushing for “priority access” rather than ringfenced beds.

The compromise was put to members of Build4Life at a meeting last night and the charity’s founder, Joe Browne, said there was “general agreement”.

Mr Browne, who has been in negotiations with the HSE and junior health minister Kathleen Lynch in relation to the beds, said the charity would be “getting back to the minister as soon as possible with the view to handing over the funding and getting the ward built as quickly as possible for the adults with CF who desperately need it”.

The ward should have been built by now but was delayed by the row. Mr Browne said the charity’s legal advisers would be running the rule over any agreement to make sure it was watertight before the group signed up.

Mr Browne also told last night’s meeting about a considerable development in relation to the children’s unit at CUH which has been described as “unfit for purpose” by staff who work there.

Two new floors were to have been built on top of the existing inpatient facility, but Mr Browne told the meeting it was his understanding that €11m in funding is to be made available for an entirely new build.

This would mean a four-storey development, with the first two floors for inpatients, the third for outpatients and a fourth floor for research and development.

It would also mean the existing facility would be flattened.


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