A new €22 million 30 bed development, with ultra-modern operating theatres at Mercy University Hospital, Cork, was officially opened last week. Pictured at the opening is Consultant Urologist Derek Hennessey and Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath. Photo: Daragh Mc Sweeney/Provision.

MUH unveils €22m expansion

Mercy University Hospital in Cork has celebrated the official opening of a new €22 million 30 bed development, which includes cutting-edge operating theatres equipped for robotic surgery.

Officially opened last week by the Minister for Finance, Michael McGrath, the three-storey, 2,100 square metre Roche Building is named after the last matron of the hospital, the late Sr Laurentia Roche. It contains two state-of-the-art operating theatres, one of which is a hybrid theatre, the third of its kind in Ireland.

The hospital anticipates introducing robotic surgery in the coming months to bring about benefits such as reduced hospital stays, lower complications, and more efficient procedures.

The Roche Building includes an 18 bed ward known as St Camillus’ Ward, along with 12 single rooms designated as St Anthony’s Ward. In addition to the advanced operating theatres, there are various support facilities on each floor, including nurses’ stations, utility rooms and staff areas.

The new 30 bed modular build provides for the safe and appropriate placement of patients with Covid-19 and multi-drug resistant organisms. In addition, some of the new bedrooms at MUH have been designed with bariatric patients in mind, where mobility issues can arise. Hoists have been installed and door heights raised. MUH now has 242 inpatient beds (inclusive of ICU/CCU), 75 day case beds and 50 acute mental health beds.

The new development ties into the existing hospital buildings at 6 locations in total – two link connections at each floor level.

MUH is a 367 bed city centre hospital, that treats over 135,000 patients annually and has a visitor footfall in excess of 50,000 people per annum. It employs over 1,500 staff and has an annual budget in excess of €147 million.

Speaking at the opening of the development CEO Anne Coyle said: “The new beds are a very welcome addition and increase our total bed capacity to 367.

“They will have a positive impact on the unscheduled care programme by improving access and patient flow and they have increased the hospital’s single room capacity for managing infectious disease issues.“

“The two operating theatres are replacements for out-of-date facilities. They will have a positive impact on patient outcomes and experiences, and we plan to provide additional theatre capacity with the refurbishment of the old theatres,” she added.

Minister McGrath said: “It is an honour today to officially open the Roche Building, a development named after the former Matron of Mercy University Hospital, Sr Laurentia Roche. Sr Laurentia was the last matron of the Mercy Hospital, handing over this role to lay directors of nursing in June of 2003.”