Beaumont, Connolly merge to save money
health: Hospitals will 'share facilities' under plan
THE HSE is forging ahead with plans to merge two of Dublin's largest hospitals.
The Herald has learned that a series of meetings has taken place between senior doctors in Beamount and Connolly Hospitals with a view to "radically improving the provision of health care".
The move will result in the amalgamation of services between the two hospitals which will result in a "greater emphasis" on the sharing of facilities.
It is planned to have one board running both hospitals which will oversee a cross-cover of patient care.
The merging of facilities will provide a "great boost" to patients according to sources in the two hospitals.
Patients will be given the option to avail of treatment in either hospital which, it is hoped, will ease the burden on doctors as well as reducing waiting times for treatment such as surgery.
The merger will mean up to 4,000 staff will be brought together to serve a catchment area in North and West Dublin of a population of 620,000. A new academic health centre will be established as part of the merger.
Discussions on the merger of the two hospitals began in May but have intensified in recent weeks.
The Herald understands that the HSE will officially announce the amalgamation in the coming weeks.
Beaumont Hospital currently has over 700 beds as well as its own board while Connolly hospital is run directly by the HSE.
The Herald revealed last month that Connolly Hospital is carrying debts of over €5m and is one of the capital's most debt laden hospitals.
Professor Bill Tormey, who practises in the hospital and is a councillor for Fine Gael, told the Herald today the merging would result in "major efficiencies" at the hospital.
"This is good news for the people in this catchment area. It is about combining the skills and services in both hospitals which should result in major efficiencies and the saving of money," he said.
"Hospitals are completely squeezed right now. But staff in both Beaumont and Connolly have been looking for many months as to how we can improve the delivery of services. This move will certainly do that."
The HSE was unable to provide a comment when contacted by the Herald.