Rehab hospital overhaul on cards

The National Rehabilitation Hospital is to get a replacement, purpose-built, 120- bed facility on its site in Dún Laoghaire.

This facility will be built specifically to accommodate the needs of those requiring complex, specialist, rehabilitation services and would comply with best international practice and SARI guidelines.

The development is being funded through a partnership between the HSE and the National Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation.

Details of the development, included in the HSE’s capital plan earlier this year, were announced by Health Minister James Reilly and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore at the hospital yesterday.

The facility will help patients with complex and specialist rehabilitation in single rooms to minimise infection risk.

The Sisters of Mercy said it hoped to have the contract to build the facility in place in a year. Construction will take two more years but an exact cost is not yet available. Subject to further funding, phase two of the project will see the remaining care services relocated to the new development.

The hospital deals with a range of conditions, including spinal cord injuries and acquired brain injuries, and also provides prosthetics and limb absence support.

It secured planning permission for a new €200m, 235-bed facility in late 2008, but the funding did not become available.

Speaking at the announcement, hospital chairman Henry Murdoch said the facility was long overdue: “It will be a major enhancement to rehabilitation services in the country and will have a direct and significant impact on patient recovery by providing an optimal ward and therapeutic environment for their treatment.”

Mr Reilly echoed this: “For far too long, patients who required prolonged rehabilitation have been receiving excellent care in an environment that falls well short of that. The lack of privacy in the current facility will now be addressed through this state-of-the-art modern development providing best care in the best environment.”

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