The formal renaming of University Hospital Kerry (UHK) recognises the significant service that it provides to patients in the Kerry, North Cork and West Limerick areas as part of the South / South West Hospital Group. UHK is now formally linked to seven other acute hospitals in counties Cork, Waterford, South Tipperary and Kilcreene Orthopaedic Hospital in Kilkenny.
University Hospital Kerry, which has been a major teaching hospital of UCC, provides a range of acute services to the population of Kerry including a 24/7 Emergency Department supported by general and orthopaedic (trauma) surgery. It also provides unselected, acute, medical care, elderly care, obstetrics and mental health care.
As a result of this improved networking relationships between the hospitals within the region, a number of new working arrangements with other hospitals in the Group have been implemented to provide better patient services in some areas which include:
- Improved arrangements with Cork University Hospital for the small number of trauma patients who require rapid transfer to Cork.
- Access to the South Infirmary Victorial University Hospital for patients needing urgent care in ear, nose and throat (ENT) services.
- Outreach services provided by consultants based in Cork University Hosptial in the following areas: dental, neurology, dermatology, nephrology, oncology, plastic surgery and an STI clinic.
The university status of UHK will not only bring about improved care and services as part of the coordinated network of hospitals, but will provide research opportunities to the staff of the hospital. This also ensures that patients will continue to benefit from the latest clinical expertise and knowledge as it flows from education and research into the hospital system.
Speaking at the formal re-naming ceremony, Chairperson of the South / South West Hospital Group Professor Geraldine McCarthy commented that “The formal re-naming of University Hospital Kerry is significant. It represents the Hospital’s key role as part of the Group and the new partnership with UCC, its primary academic partner which provides for integration and collaboration, teaching, research and education opportunities between the Hospital and UCC. In turn, as envisaged, a significant development for Hospitals in the group is the shared recruitment of consultants as they will be appointed to the Hospital group, rather than the individual hospitals. This enables co-operation and integration between our hospitals and further development and expansion of acute services across the Group. I am delighted that we have had the opportunity to formally mark this significant development for University Hospital Kerry and the benefits that it will provide to patients in the region.”
Dr. Michael Murphy, President of UCC, commented, “hospitals have always occupied a central position in community life and University Hospital Kerry has occupied a unique place in the lives of the people of Kerry throughout the past 32 years. Today’s renaming captures how University College Cork, as the primary academic partner of the South/South West Hospital Group, can support the development of a culture of quality, excellence and innovation throughout our hospital group. I strongly believe that hospitals which operate within the wider context of clinical service, education, training, research and innovation deliver an enduring dividend for society. In partnership with the staff of University Hospital Kerry, UCC looks forward to strengthening this new and more structured relationship and advancing the position of this fine hospital in the years to come.”