A CHILDREN'S hospital in Dublin is to close its doors temporarily as Ireland battles an outbreak of Covid-19.
Children's Health Ireland have confirmed that all paediatric services at Tallaght Children's Hospital will cease, with all urgent operations to now take place in Crumlin, Temple Street and Connolly hospitals.
The decision was made to protect older and vulnerable patients, with the CHU group saying in a statement that "while children and young people are vunlerable to COVID-19, the viral infection appears to be less severe in children than in adults".
Tallaght hospital will now be used to treat adults only, with CHI confirming that additional staff, emergency facilities and beds will be relocated to the hospital in order for maximum support to be offered to sick adult patients being treated in Tallaght.
CHI group have reassured worried parents that should their child become seriously ill, they will be attended to in the Crumlin or Temple Street Emergency Departments and will be treated as a priority.
Anyone whose children attends the children's hospital in Tallaght and requires further information on what the temporary closure means can visit the website here.
Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of Tallaght University Hospital said: “Our preparations for dealing with the increasing number of patients that will need medical support through their COVID-19 illness continue. The additional capacity at the Hospital through the temporary relocation of acute paediatric services is very welcome and I would particularly like to thank and acknowledge my paediatric colleagues in this regard.
I would like to thank each member of the TUH team for their efforts and the changes they have had to make to keep services running for patients. I would also like to thank staff returning from career breaks, secondment and retirement to support us at these difficult and challenging times. I would also like to thank the community around Tallaght that we serve for their support, especially since the Hospital closed to visitors.”
Dr Ciara Martin, Paediatric Emergency Medicine Consultant and Paediatric Executive Lead, CHI at Tallaght said:
"We are experiencing a national public health crisis, one we have never seen before. It is so important that all of us within the health service take whatever steps are possible to ensure that the we direct resources where they are most in need – to support patients and our colleagues. We are all committed to providing the best possible clinical care to those who need it and we believe that by taking the steps today the health system as a whole will be strengthened. The measures announced today for CHI at Tallaght are temporary but necessary.
"I want to thank the our staff for their dedication, responsiveness and flexibility during these unprecedented times and also want to reassure parents and families that we continue to offer all necessary paediatric services at CHI at Crumlin, Temple Street and Tallaght and we will reopen paediatric services at Tallaght when we get through this pandemic."