TUH Open State of the Art Renal Unit

Vartry Renal Unit(October 29th 2020) The Renal Team at TUH have delivered the first sessions of life preserving dialysis in the new Varty Unit this week. The Unit is called after the reservoir in Wicklow where the water supply for the dialysis service is sourced. TUH supervises over 30,000 haemodialysis sessions a year.

TUH is the second largest centre in the country for Haemodialysis management. As the numbers of patients requiring this essential treatment increased, the provision of this treatment in the current 12 bed unit was no longer suitable. The Varty Unit will provide a patient centred environment with larger capacity, a Home Therapies Unit and a self-care Haemodialysis Unit. The 2,700m2 Unit built over two floors has 28 Haemodialysis Treatment Bays, six single haemodialysis rooms for immunocompromised / acutely ill patients, four home dialysis training (Peritoneal & Haemodialysis) rooms and for the first time in Ireland, four self-care haemodialysis bays. There are also 14 offices which for the first time will bring all the different medical and allied health care professionals that are involved in the care of renal patients together.

Speaking on behalf of the Renal team at TUH, Professor George Mellotte Consultant Nephrologist and HSE National Clinical Lead in Nephrology said “This is a landmark day for the patient care in TUH and could not have come at a better time as Ireland has seen a 3% increase in the number of patients requiring dialysis every year for the last 10 years. Following the arrival of COVID-19, there has been an increase in dialysis patient numbers nationally by 6%. I and the Renal Team are looking forward to caring for our patients in this new state of the art facility. Our patients attend for dialysis three times a week for up to four hours at a time, some have attended for over 1,000 sessions. I have no doubt our patients receiving their life saving treatment in this brighter modern facility will be of great comfort to them.”

Quote from Lucy Nugent, Chief Executive of TUH “The opening of Vartry Renal Unit is the culmination of an enormous amount of work over a long number of years having gone through the planning and the funding process to secure same. The Hospital is grateful to all those that have supported us in this journey to get to where we are this week, delivering dialysis to our patients in an incredibly impressive state of the art facility. I have to acknowledge particular thanks to the incredible teamwork by our nursing, medical and facilities staff in getting the unit open at a time when the Hospital is particularly busy and continuing to provide dialysis treatment in the old renal unit. It has been a herculean task and is testament to the calibre of the team we have here at TUH, despite the challenges we have faced this year staff have remained focused and work together to prove the best possible care to the patients under our care.”

Funding for the building of the Unit was provided by the HSE and is one of the Government’s National Development Plan projects 2018-2027 and Dublin Midlands Hospital Group. You can take a virtual tour of the new unit via this link

The Varty Renal Unit
The unit was named after the reservoir and river in nearby Wicklow, reflecting the importance of water in the haemodialysis service. Each dialysis session requires approximately 500 litres of raw water, the average dialysis patient is exposed to more water in a week than most people are in a year.

Initially the new unit will use approximately 10M litres of water a year and it is anticipated this will double in the next few years as the number of dialysis sessions increase. Once water arrives at TUH it is processed through a complex series of filters, water softeners and reverse osmosis units to remove metal ions and chemical impurities to produce ultra-pure water. This treatment is undertaken at a dedicated Dialysis Water Treatment Plant on the Hospital campus.

About Tallaght University Hospital
TUH is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The Hospital has 495 adult beds with 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialties. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre. The Hospital also has 67 paediatric beds under the governance of Children’s Health Ireland and 52 mental health beds under HSE governance. 

TUH is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is part of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties. 

The Hospital’s Emergency Department catered for 52,398 Attendances in 2019. A further 251,455 patients were treated through the Hospital’s Adult outpatient clinics in 2019. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities and aligned with CHO7.

Tallaght University Hospital Foundation is committed to investing in TUH and promoting quality care and wellness throughout the community. If you would like to support the work of the Foundation please go to www.tuhf.ie or contact Kelly Crowley, Head of Development for TUHF on kcrowley@tuhf.ie