Demolition work has commenced on the St James’s campus in Dublin to allow for the building of the new National Children’s Hospital on that site. As part of this, the National Centre for Hereditary Coagulation Disorders (NCHCD) and the Hepatology units will both be demolished in the coming months to facilitate this. The NCHCD has now moved to a new location in the main hospital building, two floors above the existing haemophilia H&H ward. The new facility, now renamed as the National Coagulation Centre (NCC), is an excellent addition to the haemophilia care infrastructure in Ireland. The unit is bright, spacious and purpose built. There is an extremely nice waiting area, a sufficient number of consultation rooms, a phlebotomy suite and two beautifully appointed dental suites. The dental suites boast state of the art new dental chairs, x-ray machines and in-mouth camera for demonstration and teaching and also the ability to stream soothing music wirelessly while having dental procedures carried out. There is also a seminar room for the haemophilia comprehensive care team and sufficient office and administration space for the consultants, nurses and other health care professionals. We are delighted that this new facility is open and that we have avoided a scenario whereby the haemophilia service would have to transfer to temporary accommodation while the new facility was being built. It will also save transit time for the haemophilia care team and for the people with haemophilia. The new outpatient NCC unit is located directly above the H&H ward and for any person with haemophilia participating in a clinical trial, the clinical trial unit is located between the NCC and H&H ward.
We do have some concerns in relation to access to the new NCC. The main hospital underground carpark is right underneath this building but it is a not insignificant walk from the carpark elevator to the new unit. For people with haemophilia with severe mobility difficulties, there is an entrance to the new NCC at the side, which has a small one person elevator and also a drop-off point to allow people with severe mobility difficulties to be dropped off. This space has been there since the building of the main unit but has never been utilised as it was used as a fire corridor. We are now working to ensure that this can be utilised by people with haemophilia with severe mobility difficulties where drop off is required. I must stress however that this is not disabled parking. If and when this becomes available, it will only be available for drop off. We are also working to ensure that the doors in the corridor leading to the new unit are easy to open. Many of you will be visiting the new NCC over the coming months for outpatient appointments, dental care or for other reasons. We would appreciate any feedback on the new unit, the facilities and access. We look forward to hearing from you.