Long stay residents at Waterford’s St Patricks’ Hospital move to ‘fantastic new home’
Long stay residents of St Patrick’s Hospital have moved to their new accommodation in the recently completed Waterford Residential Care Centre.
The purpose built Waterford Residential Care Centre project was developed on a site adjacent to St Patrick’s Hospital. The centre features three units, totalling 80 en-suite single bedrooms, to replace long stay accommodation for the elderly previously housed in wards at St Patrick’s.
An additional unit of 20 en-suite single bedrooms at the Waterford Residential Care Centre replaces a shared model for Psychiatry of Later Life previously provided for residents at a building located on the grounds of the nearby St Otteran’s Hospital.
The transfer of residents from St Patrick’s took place on schedule last week. In addition to being a long awaited move to more comfortable surrounds in line with meeting criteria set by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), the relocation will also aid clinical management in the context of adhering to current Covid 19 infection control measures.
Construction of the new (€25.4 million total approved cost), 100 bed Waterford Residential Care Centre began in early 2018. An equipping/fit-out (commissioning) stage was undertaken earlier this year and operational usage began last week.
An existing protected structure on site was refurbished internally and externally to form a new main entrance and foyer for the Centre. A production kitchen and related community and garden/courtyard spaces feature within the development, external to the wards.
A previous convent building on site was demolished as part of the project. Slabs taken from that property are incorporated in one of the new garden designs.
A new conference room at the foyer, which in addition to as new oratory, can also be used for religious purposes and is named the ‘O’ Brien Room’ – named for the last Matron of the Sisters of Mercy to have served St Patrick’s prior to their departure in 1980. Several art installations feature in the new centre, in addition to some of the Annie Brophy collection of photographs of life in Waterford in times gone by.
A total of 100 car parking spaces, vehicular set down areas, bicycle parking, landscaping and a new main entrance on St Patrick’s Way were also part of the project.
The 30 bed Farronshoneen, 20 bed Farrandale and the 20 bed Grange units in the new centre now house those residents previously accommodated in St Patrick’s. A new glazed corridor links the new development to the St Patrick’s Hospital building. The rehabilitation ward and associated facilities will continue to operate in the St Patrick’s building and the remainder of that premises will continue to be used for non-residential healthcare, administrative, training and storage uses.
Speaking about the move, Barbara Murphy, General Manager, Care of Older Persons Services, South East Community Healthcare, said: “This fabulous, especially constructed facility in Waterford is a major step forward for community healthcare in the Waterford and immediate South Kilkenny area.
“Over the years, St Patrick’s Hospital has had an excellent reputation as a social care facility. South East Community Healthcare (SECH) are deeply appreciative of the support St Patrick’s has received from families of residents and the wider community. We are delighted for the residents and families involved to relocate to the Waterford Residential Care Centre. In working to meet expectations set by HIQA, it has been part of our plans for some time to effect this move.”
“That we managed to effect this transfer at a challenging time for us all (given that families are currently working with with us on a ban on visitors – save in exceptional circumstances), is a tribute the St Patrick’s team. This relocation, for staff, also brings about an enhanced service to residents in a more modern and state of the art, care surrounds.
“Director of Nursing Mary Veale and her team are delighted with the new facility and, in addition to SECH’s Head of Service for Social Care Janette Dwyer and other colleagues, have worked hard to make sure everything is on track. We all look forward to coming through the current pandemic phase safely, so that this fantastic new home for our residents in one of the finest facilities of its kind in the country will be fully enjoyed by them and their families.”
PHOTO: Director of Nursing Mary Veale and General Manager, Care of Older Persons Services Barbara Murphy outside the new Waterford Residential Care Centre.