Eoghan Dalton Reports
The architects of the second Cath Lab at University Hospital Waterford have signalled intention to apply for planning permission for its construction. Dublin-based Wejchert Architects will be building the two-storey extension which will be located on an existing flat roof. It will include a specialist procedures room, a preparation and recovery room, diagnostic facilities and ancillary accommodation.
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Ancillary works include new car parking and covered roof top plant rooms. The existing Cath Lab at UHW only operates from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. Waterford Oireachtas members have long maintained that the second Cath Lab, while not providing a 24/7 round-the-clock service, will be the first step required to get a 24/7 cardiology service in the South East.
If Wejchert’s planning application is approved as expected construction is to commence in the New Year.
The national review of cardiology services established in January 2018 should be complete by the end of the year, at which point a decision will be made on whether to enhance UHW’s hours. A temporary Cath Lab at UHW offers a diagnostic service but cannot treat patients. The news is unlikely to lessen protests surrounding the hospital’s cardiac services. Up to 10,000 people turned out in Waterford city last January to call for a 24/7 service.In recent months the existing Cath Lab has been closed on a number of different occasions due to maintenance problems.