Mater hospital says it engaged with residents before starting to build 100-bed wing
Hospital has used emergency pandemic legislation to ensure the new facility can be delivered ‘as quickly as possible’
The new Mater facility will expand the hospital’s ICU capacity, replace the current national isolation unit and provide specialist isolation rooms for the care of highly-infectious patients. Photograph: Frank Miller
The Mater hospital in Dublin says it engaged with residents before starting to build a new 100-bed wing without planning permission using emergency Covid-19 legislation.
The hospital says it used the emergency pandemic legislation to ensure the new facility could be delivered “as quickly as possible”.
Using rapid-build techniques at least 100 new single beds for patients requiring isolation will be ready “within a matter of months”, a spokeswoman said.
“The facility will allow for patients with infectious diseases to be cared for in isolation and independent of the existing facilities and services should there be another wave of Covid-19 or a different infectious disease outbreak.
“This will protect other vital non-Covid national services at the hospital such as heart and lung transplant, cancer care, spinal injuries and emergency surgery. It will ensure that all patients can be cared for.”
The new wing will expand the hospital’s ICU capacity, replace the current national isolation unit and provide specialist isolation rooms for the care of highly-infectious patients.
All rooms will be single rooms to protect against the spread of disease, and will have enhanced medical gas provision as required for the treatment of Covid-19.
Development of the unit began last December as the third wave of the pandemic surged, and the project was included in the HSE’s service plan for 2021.
“Following stakeholder engagement, including resident engagement and notification of the intended build on Europe’s public procurement site, building work commenced on the Mater campus,” according to the spokeswoman.
Covid-19 has had an “unprecedented” impact on healthcare, she said, with ICU “the most severely” affected area. This had resulted in greater difficulty accessing care for patients and longer waiting lists across the health service.
The Mater was recently selected as the Dublin site for a major trauma centre, one of only two in the State. However, no helipad will be ready to receive emergency patient transfers when the centre begins operations next year.