Press Release: Opening of the new CF Unit in UHL

Press Release from Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and TLC4CF

New state-of-the-art two-floor in-patient and out-patient unit for adults with cystic fibrosis (CF) to be formally opened by Minister Harris on Friday 7th October at 2.15pm as part of ground-breaking Leben building.

TLC4CF.on white.official.Logo

A new adult Cystic Fibrosis Unit developed by the Tipperary, Limerick and Clare branches of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (TLC4CF) is to be formally opened by Minister Simon Harris at 2.15pm Friday 7th October in University Hospital Limerick as part of the formal opening of the new six-storey Leben building.

‘Cystic Fibrosis Ireland and our three branches TLC4CF (Tipperary Limerick and Clare) warmly welcomes the formal opening of a completely new state-of-the-art, two-floor Cystic Fibrosis Unit for adults in University Hospital Limerick,’ stated Chairperson of Cystic Fibrosis Ireland (CFI), Patricia Duffy-Barber.

‘The new unit will transform cystic fibrosis services to adults with CF in the greater Limerick, Tipperary and Clare areas,’ stated Chairperson of TLC4CF Owen Kirby. ‘The unit comprises two floors of the new Leben building and is part of one of the largest partnership projects in the history of the health service in Ireland.’

In 2010 CFI/TLC4CF came together with the Parkinsons Association and the UHL Hospital Trust in Limerick to form a new company called ‘Leben’. The object was to improve services for patients with cystic fibrosis, Parkinson's disease, stroke, serious skin conditions and cancer.

‘The new CF unit comprises two floors of the new Leben building and will cater for 120 adult cystic fibrosis patients. One floor is an ambulatory care day centre and the other floor is a nine-bed inpatient ward with ensuite facilities and hepa-filtration to help prevent cross-infection,’ stated Philip Watt, CEO of CFI.

The entire building has been funded from charitable fundraising from the three charities, with fantastic support from the JP McManus Pro Am Foundation.

The additional staff costs and part of the equipment costs and the site for the building have been met by the HSE/UHL.

The Leben building in University Hospital Limerick represents one of the most remarkable developments in the history of Irish health care. There are several unique features to this project including:

It is a partnership project: On 30th August 2010 the three charities concerned set up a development company called ‘Leben’ in which all decision-making for the build project was made and all funding for the project going forward was kept in escrow (joint account).

The charities contracted with the builder: In 2012 the three charities through Leben contracted with an Irish building company to build the six-storey building.

Patients' conditions have been dramatically improved: The CF unit will benefit the 120 adult CF patients attending UHL as well as those with Parkinson's, stroke, cancer and serious skin conditions.

The project was funded and built during a period of economic crisis: This unit would not have been built other than for the efforts of the three charities involved in partnership with UHL and JP McManus. There was no capital funding available from government over the last few years for such major capital projects.

The largest single project within the Leben development was the Cystic Fibrosis Unit (two floors). While the two CF designated floors will primarily benefit CF adult patients, when the nine CF in-patient rooms are not needed for CF patients, they will be made available to other very ill patients who need them.

Members of the TLC4CF committee who oversaw this project are:
Owen Kirby (Chair of TLC4CF); Liam O Kelly; Caitriona Hayes; Linda Drennan; and Marcella Clancy.

For further information, contact Philip Watt, CEO CFI, 087 637 0557