A NEW purpose-built maternity theatre has finally opened at Letterkenny General Hospital, sixteen years after the Obstetrics unit was completed in 2004.
The first three planned caesarean section births took place on Thursday with another list scheduled for tomorrow, Tuesday.
Dr Kevin Bailey, Consultant Anaesthetist, said they were ‘very pleased’ that the new maternity theatre at Letterkenny University Hospital is now open.
“This new theatre, which has been on the agenda for years and years, finally came into operation on Thursday. It enables us to provide exceptional, personalised care to every woman who chooses to have her baby with us.
“Women will be able to give birth here in a wonderful, warm and caring environment, safe in the knowledge that all the best medical expertise and equipment is on hand should they need it
“It’s a real step forward for the women of Donegal and is going to make a huge difference to them, their babies and their partners,” Dr Bailey said.
Up until last week caesarean sections were carried out in one of the main theatres in the hospital. That meant that at least one theatre had to kept free at all times in the event of a patient requiring an emergency caesarean section.
“This new theatre is immediately accessible for any emergencies as it’s part of the maternity suite. We carried out our first three elective C sections on Thursday which were successful and everyone is delighted. It’s a brand new theatre which is fully equipped to the highest standards. It’s an excellent addition to the services in LUH.
“The teamwork among staff has been exceptional and credit to the nurses, midwives, consultants and senior management for getting this fantastic new facility finally up and running. It’s an upgrade in services available to the women of Donegal and we’re very proud of it,” Dr Bailey said.
“It’s being used for planned C section procedures at the moment. Our next elective list is on Tuesday,” he added.
The development had been lying idle since the early 2000s when it was first built as part of the redevelopment of the hospital’s renal dialysis block.
Difficulty in recruiting staff saw the new state-of-the-art maternity unit, which comprises four delivery suites, an obstetrics theatre and a recovery unit, being used as office accommodation when it was first completed.
The new maternity theatre was opened on a temporary basis in 2005 while refurbishment work was being carried out in the general theatres but it had remained closed until now.