A new endoscopy suite is open at Mallow General Hospital as part of a €4.5 million capital investment in the hospital.
The new suite is a modern, patient-centred build with two procedures rooms, a first stage recovery room and a discharge lounge, which replaces the existing endoscopy facility. Patients are referred for an endoscopy by their GP or consultant to investigate symptoms such as vomiting or bleeding. It is performed as a day procedure whereby a narrow tube with a camera at the end is passed into an organ such as the stomach or colon to view the inside. The following endoscopies can be performed at Mallow General Hospital: gastroscopy (upper intestine) sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy (lower intestine) and bronchoscopy (lung and airways).
The new endoscopy suite has the capacity to do an additional 1,000 endoscopies annually. Currently there are approximately 2,000 endoscopies per year performed at Mallow General Hospital, which means that the hospital now has the capacity to do in excess of 3,000 annually.
Welcoming the opening of the new unit, local Independent Cllr. John Paul O’ Shea said, “I’m delighted that we have this new endoscopy suite for the people of North Cork. It is a beautiful new purpose-built facility and meets all the international standards required for such a unit. I want to wish the staff operating this unit and patients who utilise this unit in the months and years to come all the very best in the new environment which no doubt will be of great advantage for the population of North Cork”.
The opening of the new endoscopy suite follows on from the re-organisation of other services. A Local Injury Unit (LIU) and Medical Assessment Unit (MAU) opened in March 2013. Both are now operating well and treating increasing patient numbers.
The LIU is open seven days per week from 8am to 8pm. Staff in the unit treat adults and children aged over five years of age with minor injuries such as a suspected broken bone, a sprain, a facial injury or a minor scald or burn. Staff can take x-rays, apply plaster casts and stitches.
The MAU is also open seven days a week from 8am to 8pm, with staff treating patients referred directly by their GP/SouthDoc, who are suffering from a recent onset of symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain or blackouts. The MAU only accepts patients referred by their GP or SouthDoc to ensure that only patients suitable for treatment present at this Unit. Patients referred to the MAU are seen by a senior doctor within an hour of arrival who has ready access to diagnostics such as x-rays, blood tests, scans, etc.