Minister Varadkar today opened the new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH), Holles Street, Dublin, which will cater for some of the sickest infants and most complex cases from across Ireland.
The unit was built with €6 million of taxpayers’ money and will allow the most serious cases to be treated in a single location. Staff will be able to build on their clinical experience and deliver the highest possible standard of care. The NMH is a national tertiary referral facility, receiving babies from all over Ireland.
Minister Varadkar said: “Holles Street is right to be proud of its new Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. This state-of-the-art facility was funded with a substantial investment of €6 million. It offers a wide range of facilities, including a central station for monitoring babies, vital equipment, dedicated isolation rooms, and double clinical space around each incubator.
“Neonatology is one of medicine’s greatest success stories from the past 30 years. Back in the early 1980s, 90% of infants born prematurely at 28 weeks died. Today, 90% of those babies will survive. Since it was established, the National Maternity Hospital has played a leading clinical role for women and babies in Ireland. Its reputation is built on high-quality care, and a strong focus on research and education. Long may that continue.”
The Master of the National Maternity Hospital, Dr Rhona Mahony, said: “We are delighted to exchange the old cramped facilities under the eaves of the roof at NMH for this new modern intensive care unit in the heart of the Hospital. It represents a significant step forward in the quality of care and services we can offer to families attending the Hospital and we would like to acknowledge the Government’s support in completing this very important project.”
Welcoming the Minister’s reference to his expectation that a planning application will be lodged later this year for the new co-located National Maternity Hospital on the campus of St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dr Mahony said: “We remain very excited about the fantastic plans for the hospital. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with the HSE and St Vincent’s Hospital Healthcare Group to strive for the development of world class facilities and excellence in maternal and neonatal care.”
Minister Varadkar paid tribute to the work of the staff at Holles Street, where almost 10,000 babies are born every year. The hospital also provides treatment for critically ill babies who are transported to Holles Street from other hospitals by a dedicated team operating as part of the National Neonatal Retrieval Service.