Statement from Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) 26th March 2020
CHI are actively planning to manage essential paediatric services through the COVID-19 pandemic taking into account the anticipated unprecedented demand on acute services, especially adult healthcare services. CHI’s contingency planning for the COVID-19 period is based on patient safety risk evaluations, maintaining essential paediatric services for specific paediatric patient groups and according to the limitations of our staffing numbers and expertise.
While children and young people are vulnerable to COVID-19, the viral infection appears to be less severe in children than in adults.
As part of our contingency planning, CHI plans to temporarily relocate its acute paediatric services in CHI at Tallaght (based on the campus with Tallaght University Hospital) to its other two children’s hospitals at Crumlin and Temple Street and to its paediatric outpatient and urgent care centre Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown. This means the closure of acute paediatric services, such as, inpatients, day cases, out-patients and the Paediatric Emergency Department based in Tallaght from midnight Friday 27th March 2020.
This decision has been taken to protect our patients, their families and our staff. In doing this, CHI is supporting Tallaght University Hospital with additional staff, emergency facilities and bed capacity for sick adults. Our decision is in line with other acute paediatric healthcare providers globally who have made similar decisions to support their acute adult hospital systems.
CHI wishes to reassure patients and families that its two other Dublin hospitals, CHI at Crumlin and CHI at Temple Street are open, including their 24 hour Emergency Departments for all emergencies, as well as, the Urgent Care Centre at CHI at Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown for minor injuries or minor illnesses which is open between 10.00 – 17.00 Mon to Fri. As part of our plan to move together to the new children’s hospital we have already commenced cross city ways of working so this temporary transition of services from CHI at Tallaght will be done in a safe, patient centred manner through close collaborative working across CHI. We are ever grateful to the cooperation, commitment and dedicated efforts being undertaken by staff across CHI to temporarily consolidate services in the best interests of our patients, our staff and all our families.
If your child is seriously ill or you are worried that their life may be at risk, please attend Crumlin or Temple Street Emergency Departments and we will assess and treat your child as a priority. If you are worried you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19 or flu please stay at home, do not attend our Emergency Departments or Urgent Care Centre, please contact your GP. The advice you need is on HSE.ie
Any child who is 16 years of age or over should attend an adult ED service unless directed to a paediatric facility by a specialist team.
Any family who attends CHI at Tallaght regularly additional information on what this means for them is available on www.tuh.ie
Dr Ciara Martin, Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant and Paediatric Executive Lead, CHI at Tallaght said ‘We are experiencing a national public health crisis, one we have never seen before. It is so important that all of us within the health service take whatever steps are possible to ensure that the we direct resources where they are most in need – to support patients and our colleagues. We are all committed to providing the best possible clinical care to those who need it and we believe that by taking the steps today the health system as a whole will be strengthened. The measures announced today for CHI at Tallaght are temporary but necessary. I want to thank the our staff for their dedication, responsiveness and flexibility during these unprecedented times and also want to reassure parents and families that we continue to offer all necessary paediatric services at CHI at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght and we will reopen paediatric services at Tallaght when we get through this pandemic’.
Children’s Health Ireland (CHI) would like to acknowledge and thank parents and guardians for their co-operation to date with the current restrictions in place in the three children’s hospitals at Crumlin, Temple Street, Tallaght and the Urgent Care Centre at Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown. Further updates on access to paediatric services are available on;
CHI at Crumlin www.olchc.ie
CHI at Temple Street www.cuh.ie
CHI at Connolly www.childrenshealthireland.ie/connolly/
Last updated on: 26 / 03 / 2020