A new study for the Saolta Hospital Group concludes that a new acute hospital should be built on the Merlin Park site in Galway.
The external assessment and options appraisal process conducted by KPMG and Scott Tallon Walker Architects looked at existing infrastructure at both the UHG and Merlin Park sites, and concluded that a new fit-for-purpose 1,150 bed actue hospital, to meet the needs of the large geographic area it serves, should be developed at the Merlin Park site to serve patients from Galway, Mayo, Roscommon, Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal.
The study also says the most appropriate location for a regional elective hospital is also in the Merlin Park hospital site - and says a new elective hospital will significantly improve patient access to elective care by reducing waiting times and cancellations.
While these developments could take at least 15 years to develop, the Saolta Hospital group says there's a crucial need for work to continue on a number of approved developments at the University Hospital Galway site, including the new Emergency Department and new Radiation Oncology facility.
The options appraisal also recommended developing new pathology lab facilities and new cancer facilities at UHG which would allow the hospital to provide new rapid access clinics and replace existing sub-standard day ward and outpatient facilities - many of which were constructed in the 1950's and do not meet standards required to deliver a modern cancer service.