Maternity hospital is reborn as short-stay home for the elderly
Former maternity hospital Mount Carmel in south Dublin has been reborn as a short-stay nursing home.
The extensive facility in Churchtown, which closed in January 2014, has been renovated and revived as a hospital for older people.
The HSE purchased the site for €11m and has redeveloped Mount Carmel to provide a range of short-stay, traditional care, assessment and rehabilitation beds.
Social Care Minister Kathleen Lynch said it is hoped that this will free up hospital beds.
"People who no longer need to be in an acute hospital but who, for a variety of reasons, cannot immediately go home or to residential care are looked after in a more appropriate environment," Minister Lynch said.
"Acute hospitals are geared towards acute care. This community hospital can provide non-acute services, in a calmer and more holistic way."
The new facility has had a phased opening since April and to date 100 residents have been admitted to the renamed Mount Carmel Community Hospital where the patients have had an average stay of 24 days.
Minister Lynch said that a combination of transitional care beds and short-stay support beds were provided, along with access to a number of services including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy and dietetics.
There is a full-time medical officer on site, supported by a senior geriatrician.
The hope is that it will provide a much-needed relief to some of the overcrowding which is set to leave emergency departments struggling again this winter.
Initially, Mount Carmel was taking patients from hospitals on the north side of Dublin, but it is now receiving referrals from other hospitals.