Minister of State with responsibility for Disability, Mr Finian McGrath, T.D., officially opened the new Dialysis Therapies Centre in Beaumont Hospital - the new home for our outpatient Haemodialysis and Home Therapies services. Since opening in February, the new Centre has increased capacity in the outpatient haemodialysis unit from 20 to 34 stations.
The planning for the €6m dedicated outpatient unit has been in the pipeline since the late 1990s. At that point, the then twenty station unit in St Martin’s was bursting at the seams. The dialysis unit operated 24 hours a day to provide five shifts of dialysis to patients, many of whom would have travelled long distances for treatment - some getting up in the middle of the night to arrive for a 3.30am dialysis slot.
The opening of the new unit allows Beaumont to eliminate early morning and late night dialysis sessions, ensuring that patients are now dialysed during more social hours - between 7am to 11pm- improving their quality of life and wellbeing. The Home Therapies department facilitates both peritoneal dialysis (PD) and home haemodialysis (HHD), and is the largest provider of both therapies nationwide.
The new thirty four station outpatient renal dialysis unit now operates three shifts daily, operating from 7am to 11pm six days a week, and will increase capacity for provision of renal dialysis to outpatients at Beaumont Hospital by 55%.
The new unit is also a delight for staff to work in coming from the dark and somewhat cramped conditions of St Martins. The unit will be a great asset to Beaumont Hospital, and to the renal services provided by the Kidney Centre in responding to an increasing demand for renal services.
Comfort is king for patients of the new centre, many of whom will be attending here three or four days a week until they receive a kidney transplant or, in some cases, for the rest of their lives. A typical dialysis session takes 4-5 hours to complete during which patients are hooked up to the dialysis machines and unable to move around.
Sheila Hanevy from Maynooth (pictured), has been receiving dialysis since the age of fourteen. She received a kidney transplant in 1999, which worked perfectly for several years before it began to fail. Fifteen years after receiving the transplant, Sheila needed to return to dialysis and remains hopeful that a second successful match will come her way.
She attended the official opening of the new Dialysis Therapies Centre and spoke about improved patient comfort saying, "I attend the Dialysis Therapies Centre three days a week. I come straight from work and I'm in to bed as soon as I get here. I use the wifi to work or my own headphones to watch TV, things I couldn't do previously. And given that I struggled to make a simple phone call due to the lack of signal in the old St Martin’s unit, the improvements in technology alone really make a huge difference".