The Irish Blood Transfusion Service's (IBTS) Cork centre on the grounds of St Finbarr’s Hospital in Cork is to be rebuilt.
In an announcement made today, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, supported the IBTS Board's recommendation to replace the existing Munster Region Transfusion Centre (MRTC) buildings on the hospital campus.
The new build will retain all existing service provision including reference red cell immunohaematology (RCI) services, the IBTS stated.
"The IBTS Board considered a report prepared by external consultants which examined in depth two options for progressing the redevelopment," said a spokesperson.
"Extensive consultation with various stakeholders in the Munster region was carried out as part of that process and this showed strong support for the development of a new centre with all existing services being retained."
The proposal has now been approved by the Department of Health to progress to the next stage, it was added.
"The IBTS will prepare a development brief and will work with our HSE colleagues in St. Finbarr’s hospital campus, to progress this long-standing issue."
At present, the MRTC based in St Finbarr’s Hospital provides a number of blood-related services, including laboratory diagnostics and therapeutic apheresis.
Speaking today, Mr Donnelly said: “The redevelopment of the Munster Regional Transfusion Centre will enhance the excellent blood services currently being provided in the region.
“I would like to thank the IBTS, the staff and stakeholders of the MRTC, the Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare Office and South/Southwest hospital group for their work to date in developing this plan.”
The minister added “The excellent work of the IBTS would not be possible without the blood and platelet donations that thousands of people make selflessly each year. Please consider donating blood today.”