£42m investment commitment in ‎All-island Congenital Heart Disease Service

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Friday, July 8th, 2016
Health Ministers Michelle O’Neill MLA and her southern counterpart Simon Harris TD have committed to a £42million investment in the all-island Congenital Heart Disease Service. michelle4The Ministers made the announcement at the opening of the new Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory at Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital Crumlin (OLCHC) Dublin. The joint opening of the Lab provided a unique platform to confirm both Ministers’ commitment to the further development of the all-island Congenital Heart Disease Network which was established in March 2015. This is the first clinical network of its kind, bringing benefit to patients across the island of Ireland. Speaking at the opening Michelle O’Neill MLA said, “I am delighted to participate in the opening of the state of the art Hybrid Cardiac Catheterisation Laboratory today, where children from across the island will be cared for by a dedicated team of staff. “The joint investment, over the next five years, will help to realise our vision of a world-class all-island Network service. I recognise many families would wish to see these services delivered sooner ‎and every effort is being made to deliver this. “The investment announced today combined with the detailed planning by the Network Board over the past year will help to achieve this, ensuring that these children will soon be able to have their surgery within a reasonable travelling distance from their homes, and with their pre and post operative care being delivered in Belfast. “The Congenital Heart Disease Network is a great initiative that benefits all of Ireland. I want to continue with positive All-Ireland approaches to health and social care and address the uncertainties and challenges that now exist as a result of the recent EU referendum.
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Mid July 2016“A key priority for me is to work with Minister Simon Harris on the further development of all-island networks to tap into the benefits that collaboration on health and social care services will bring to patients across the island.” The investment by both Health Departments, which includes £1million capital investment to enhance existing facilities in Belfast, will realise the implementation plan put forward by the all-island Congenital Heart Disease Network Board. The plan envisages completing the phased implementation of the transfer of all urgent surgical cases from the north to OLCHC between now and the end of 2017 and all elective surgical cases by the end of 2018. In the interim the Belfast Trust will continue to operate a service level agreement with OLCHC to provide emergency surgical treatment in OLCHC for patients in the north.
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