30th August 2022
Caption: Neil Kevin, Multi-Task Attendant; Breda Needham, Clinical Nurse Manager 2; Staff Nurse Danielle Freeman; Dr Naro Imcha, Clinical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UL Hospitals Group; and Maire Walsh, Clerical Officer
The “entire team” at the new Nenagh Regional Hub for Women’s Health are “very focused on improving the patient experience,” according to Dr Naro Imcha, Clinical Lead for Obstetrics and Gynaecology, UL Hospitals Group: “This regional hub for women’s health will improve the patient pathway, reduce the number of visits, thereby optimising the patients’ time and reduce their costs. For a majority of cases, the consultation, investigation, and treatment can all be carried out during the first visit. This is a vital and unique opportunity to reduce waiting times and to enhance quality of life for these patients in the MidWest.”
Located in the new €1.4m extension to the outpatients department in Nenagh, and supported by the Women’s Health Taskforce and the HSE National Women’s and Infants Health Programme (NWIHP), the initiative includes an ambulatory gynaecology unit, a menopause clinic and a subfertility service.
The ambulatory gynaecology service
The ambulatory gynaecology service commenced in March 2022, one of a number of such units opened around the country under national plans to improve outcomes for women through a new model of care.
These services are being established as one-stop, “see-and-treat” gynaecology clinics in which women can be assessed and treated following a GP referral. This new model will improve access to diagnostics and treatment, resulting in fewer hospital visits and reducing overall wait times for women.
Coming under the clinical governance of University Maternity Hospital Limerick, the new ambulatory gynaecology service at Nenagh will provide a range of services to women in the MidWest. Among the investigations available to women in the MidWest with the establishment of the new service are pelvic ultrasound, diagnostic hysteroscopy and endometrial biopsy.
Moving to this new model of care will also have benefits for the hospital system, freeing up clinic and theatre capacity for the management of more complex gynaecological patients by managing less complex investigations and procedures in the new clinic in Nenagh.
The final element of the new service in Nenagh will see the opening of a subfertility clinic later this year. This has been identified as a key component in the development of fertility services around the country by the National Womens and Infants Health Programme. This service will also be consultant-led and we expect to announce the appointment of a specialist in fertility services later this year.