New TDs urged to campaign for funding for UHK’s maternity unit

There are calls for the county’s newly elected TDs to campaign for funding to ensure safety improvements can be carried out at University Hospital Kerry’s maternity unit.

Clinical Director of the Maternity Directorate with the South/South West Hospital group Professor John Higgins made the appeal.

He was speaking after the findings of a HIQA report were revealed.

HIQA initially inspected the maternity unit at UHK in October 2018 and a follow-up inspection was carried out in August 2019.

The report found that hospital management had successfully addressed the majority of risks identified by HIQA by the time of the follow-up inspection took place.

However, there were still some concerns.

It noted that work constructing a maternity unit on the same floor as the operating theatre department had not commenced by the follow-up inspection, and there was no agreed timeframe for commencement.

Professor Higgins says UHK has commissioned a separate elevator which is only used for obstetric emergencies; this can transfer patients to theatre in less than two minutes.

He adds a plan to move the labour ward to the same floor as the theatre is in place, but says significant funding is needed: