(2nd September 2020) Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) is responsible for the delivery of acute healthcare services to children and adolescents across its hospitals and urgent care services at Crumlin, Temple Street, Tallaght and at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.
Patient safety is central of our decision making, both in the provision and development of services. Therefore, this is central to our plan for the re-opening of acute services in CHI at Tallaght that were temporarily relocated in March 2020 to support adult services to deal with the initial COVID-19 surge. This resulted in a sudden change in work practice for many of our staff in CHI at Tallaght who transferred to work in our other hospitals or in adult services, and we thank them for doing so.
CHI at Tallaght will reopen at 8am tomorrow, 3 September with a 24/7 Emergency Care Unit, medical inpatients, day case surgery and medicine, x-ray and outpatients. This re-opening of acute services in CHI at Tallaght has accelerated some service changes envisaged for CHI as we move towards a new outpatient and urgent care centre facility opening there in 2021.
Every winter our paediatric service doubles its medical admissions, primarily due to respiratory illness, flu and other viral illnesses. This winter, we have a new unknown and additional challenge of COVID-19, which already has decreased our inpatient and day case capacity and patient flow through all areas by approximately 20%.
Having taken this into account, we need to manage our beds and services differently this winter across our services in CHI. We are accelerating some of our original plans to consolidate specific services (in-patient surgery, neurosurgery, day surgery) and to use a city wide approach across Crumlin, Tallaght and Temple Street for other services, such as, access for medical admissions. As we transition towards a new Urgent Care Centre at Tallaght we are opening on the 3 September as a 24/7 Emergency Care Unit. The difference from a Paediatric Emergency Department is that we are re-directing critically ill and critically injured children to our CHI Emergency Departments at Crumlin and Temple Street Further guidance will be available on our website.
We have implemented a 24-hour single bed management system and process across our four locations at Crumlin, Tallaght, Temple Street and at Connolly (Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown) to best manage access to beds and services across CHI. This means, if a child needs to be admitted from one of CHI’s Emergency Department/Unit or Urgent Care Centre they may be admitted to an in-patient bed in another hospital in the city. This is a change for the families we serve and for staff in CHI.
We wish to reassure families that CHI is a safe environment to bring your child to as we respond to the challenges of COVID-19 and we continue to adhere to public health guidance on infection prevention and control and social distancing. We would like to remind those who are visiting our hospitals that they should also follow guidance to help us protect our patients, their families and our staff;
- Face coverings help prevent people who do not know they have the virus from spreading it to others.
- Children over 13 years and their parent/guardian should wear a face covering when attending any of CHI’s emergency, urgent care, outpatients, admissions /day wards.
- Face coverings are not required for children under 13 years, unless clinically advised.
- If a child and their parent/guardian have symptoms, please do not attend our hospitals, call your GP. Don’t become a close a contact by adhering to these practices; wash your hands, social distance, practice good sneeze and cough etiquette, wear masks on public transport, supermarkets, other indoor areas, including healthcare facilities and if you cannot maintain a two metres distance from others.
Please contact Steve Lynam, Mobile 087 235 4126
Notes to Editors
Children’s Health Ireland consists of the three children’s hospitals at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght and the paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown.
Further updates on access to paediatric services are available on:
CHI at Tallaght https://www.tuh.ie/CHI-at-Tallaght/
CHI at Crumlin www.olchc.ie
CHI at Temple Street www.cuh.ie
CHI at Connolly www.childrenshealthireland.ie/connolly/
All the public health advice you need on COVID-19 is available on https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
We are also asking families to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. COVID-19 is spread in sneeze or cough droplets. To infect you, it has to get from an infected person's nose or mouth into your eyes, nose or mouth. It’s important to wash your hands properly and often. Please see latest HSE video aimed at children specifically on good hand washing etiquette https://youtu.be/EfQvLT0sKNc