(August 29th 2022) Tallaght University Hospital, one of the country’s largest teaching hospital today published its 2021 annual report. The comprehensive report outlines what was achieved by the staff, management and board of the Hospital in a year which saw the continuation of a pandemic and a crippling cyber-attack on the national healthcare system.
The Hospital was fortunate that it had previously invested in the digital infrastructure protected the organisation from the conti cyber-attack, initially access to national systems were halted but the internal network continued to function. This enabled hospital staff to work with minimum disruption to patient care.
The challenges presented by the pandemic and cyber-attack did not stop some very impressive developments from going ahead. The Hospital led by the ICT team working closely with staff across the campus introduced the Synergy Electronic Patient Care Record. There is never a perfect time to introduce a radical change in an organisation, but to do it in a workplace that is active 24x7x365 and is in the midst of dealing with a pandemic and the impact of a cyber-attack is an incredible achievement. Progress was also made in the recruitment of 137 additional staff to support new service developments.
Commenting on the publication of the report Chief Executive, Lucy Nugent said: “The ongoing expansion of the Hospital campus continued during 2021 despite all the challenges we were presented with. The ICU build will open on schedule and the opening of the CHI OPD and Urgent Care Centre on our campus is freeing up space and enabling works to be carried out to expand our acute floor and further outpatient space. As the population around Tallaght grows so does the demand on our services so this space will be put to use very quickly to the benefit of our patients.
Liam Dowdall, Chairman of the TUH Board commented “We are now two years into the pandemic and it is safe to say that as an organisation we are still feeling its impact. The ability by the executive management team and incredible team to stay focussed on the delivery of the Hospital Strategy shows impressive resilience and incredible dedication. I would like to both acknowledge this and thank them for delivering the very best of care and services to our patients, community and indeed, one another.”
2021 Activity Highlights
- 2021 was the first full year for the Reeves Day Surgery Centre to be up and running. The facility has reduced the number of patients waiting more than one year for surgery by 67%. Several specialties including Pain Medicine, Vascular Surgery and Gynaecology have no patients waiting over nine months. The unit is playing a pivotal role in ensuring the Hospital will be surgical day case waiting list compliant in 2022.
- Cardiac Rehabilitation was a new development brought to the community during 2021. This is a safe and effective method of delivering an integrated cardiac rehabilitation programme, while reducing large waiting lists for this patient group. Patient satisfaction with the new service is scoring 100% satisfaction levels
- The significant milestone of introducing the Synergy Electronic Patient Record to the Hospital, a significant milestone in our eHealth journey. In time this will see one window connecting to all of the Hospital’s systems for a patient’s health record. This enables us to improve the care delivered and reduce the administrative burden that care professionals have to deal with giving this valuable time back to delivering patient care
- In support of the Hospitals green focus a new energy performance contract was signed, this will see guaranteed savings of almost €1m in energy expenditure per year of the 15 year contract with a capital investment of over €6m. Overall the scheme provides for a 70% drop in grid supplied electricity, a 20% saving on electrical consumption and a 26% reduction in carbon consumption
- The Hospital introduced a new Acute Oncology Service, running from Monday to Friday the nurse-led service provides triage support over the phone to patients undergoing active oncology treatment. Feedback from patients is extremely positive as patients feel supported, 38% of all the calls triaged resulted in a problem being solved over the phone avoiding presentation to the ED
- Through the support of the TUH Foundation the Oncology Day Unit moved to a new location in the Hospital, the new space has a much larger footprint providing more space for patients and staff. The move would not have happened without the incredible work of the Technical Services Team in the first few months of the year when the Hospital was dealing with the height of COVID-19 and the various challenges it presented
- In July 2021 the Hospital, with the support of the Meath Foundation appointed a Head of Innovation and a Clinical Innovation Fellow. In a very short period of time the Innovation team have held 39 ideas clinics which have proved extremely popular with staff, strengthened relationships with industry and national innovation bodies
- With restricted visiting remaining in place our Volunteer Service continued to provide support delivering over 11,000 care packages to patients, distributing 3,000 books and 779 sending love email messages delivered to patients. The volunteer service was also able to reintroduce our Meet Greet & Guide volunteers who help patients check in for their appointments at the electronic kiosks and if need be escort them to the clinic location
About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of the two main academic teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health & social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2M across seven counties.
The Hospital has 456 inpatient adult beds, 74 onsite day beds for our Dialysis, Oncology, Infusion, Haematology, Cardiology, Bone & Joint and minor surgery services. The Hospital also has a Day Surgery Centre located near the Hospital which has four theatres and 25 day beds for elective surgery. There are an additional 61 offsite beds under TUH governance. The Hospital is staffed by over 3,200 people with 63 different nationalities represented on the team.
The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and is a designated trauma unit.
The Hospital is a public, voluntary teaching hospital funded by the Health Service Executive, It opened on June 21st 1998 bringing together over 600 years of medical and nursing care and education from the Adelaide, Meath & National Children’s Hospitals.
As a model 4 hospital we are cognisant of our role as a provider of national and tertiary services but also of our role in the local community. We are working to a vision of people caring for people to live better lives. The Hospital strategy reflects a continuation of that effort with our patients, their families/carers and health partners to achieve a fully integrated care approach to every service we provide.
The Hospital has a series of planned capital developments to address significant capacity shortages, enhance the infrastructure and environment for patients, their families, the public and staff.