First patient transfers to new 'anti-superbug' unit in Ennis hospital


A new €15 million wing at Ennis General Hospital has become the country’s first 100 per cent “Sari-compliant” medical facility, according to the hospital.

Sari, a new standard, stands for strategy for the control of antimicrobial resistance in Ireland, and follows concerns in recent years over hospital “superbugs” such as MRSA and C difficile.

Hospital manager Frank Keane confirmed the first patient to be transferred to the new unit was James Carmody from Newmarket-on-Fergus, Co Clare. Mr Keane said: “It’s a great day for Ennis General Hospital that we have commenced the phased transfer of patients into the new unit. It is great for the county, for the patients and the future of the hospital, and has only happened as a result of the absolute dedication of staff at all levels to the future of Ennis General.”

The Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) had expressed concerns over staffing levels, but members had now expressed satisfaction that most of these issues had been resolved.

INMO industrial relations officer Mary Fogarty said yesterday: “The INMO is satisfied that the HSE has agreed to revise the staffing arrangements for the new wards to enable the transfer of patients and staff to this first-class, modern healthcare facility.”

She confirmed, however, that her members were not yet sure about the staffing arrangements for the second floor.

Independent Clare councillor James Breen, who contracted MRSA in a doctor’s surgery in 2005, said: “The opening of this unit is a very, very welcome development, but no political party can pat themselves on the back for providing this unit because it’s 20 years too late as far as I am concerned. But better late than never.”

Mr Breen is also a founder member of the support group MRSA and Families.