The Children’s ark is a s a purpose built paediatric unit for children at University Hospital Limerick. We have 49 beds in our Sunshine and Rainbow wards, a high-dependency unit, a cystic fibrosis unit and our Caterpillar day ward. This is for patients having blood transfusions, endoscopy services, diagnostics, diabetes care or consultant reviews. We also have a diabetes care department and even a school for children staying in hospital!
The Children’s Ark is comprised of eight main areas:
- Sunshine Ward, which can accommodate 27 children from 15 months to 14 years
- Rainbow Ward which can accommodate 22 children from newborn to 15 months
- Paediatric High Dependency Unit (PHDU), which has two beds for children who require high dependency nursing and medical care. This is the only PHDU outside of Dublin and has a significant track record, since its inception, in managing complex paediatric cases and avoiding transfer to tertiary care.
- Caterpillar Day Ward, which accommodates children having Oncology shared care with Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin, blood transfusions, endoscopy services, diagnostics, GP direct referral, diabetes care and consultant reviews.
- Cystic Fibrosis Unit, which coordinates all care of paediatric cystic fibrosis patients working closely with both our inpatient wards and our day ward in the delivery of that care.
- The Paediatric Diabetes Care Department is located within the Ark and has commenced the roll-out of the Under-5 Insulin Pump Programme as well as providing general diabetic care to the Mid West region.
- Play Department, which is open from 9.30am to 5pm Monday to Friday for use by patients as part of their recovery. The department has two play specialists.
- The Play Department provides playroom facilities from 9.30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10.00am to 12md Saturday (when volunteer play staff available).
- The department has 2 play specialists who provide therapeutic & specialized play to enable patients cope with a hospital admission and reduce anxiety levels.
- There are 7 play staff members (partnership with the Dept. of Social Protection) & volunteers (Yoobyoo/Children in Hospital Ireland).
- The Children’s Ark School is a Department of Education and Skills school, catering for the on-going education of children, from the ages of 4 to 19, in UL hospital. It is a multi-denominational school, based in a purpose built school in the Children’s Ark Unit. This new school building will be officially opened in May 2014. The school currently has 2 national school teachers with secondary school teaching provided by external teachers when needed.
Children attending the Children's Ark School get into the spirit of the World Cup by designing masks for the carnival opening in Brazil. The children also spent time researching Brazil and the many teams taking part.