THROWBACK THURSDAY: Naas Hospital forced to hold clinic in a church

Theresa Murray takes a look back at some of the Leader stories from 20 years ago

Theresa Murray

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Theresa Murray

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THROWBACK THURSDAY: Naas Hospital forced to hold clinic in a church

A Leader article from 50 years ago

In a worsening of the Naas Hospital accommodation crisis, a clinic for taking blood samples has been moved into the hospital chapel, the Leinster Leader reported on December 4, 1997.
Overcrowding and growing pressure for space forced the hospital management to relocate the Warfarin clinic in the church. Up to 70 out patients attend the clinic on Wednesday mornings for blood testing.
Naas man Chris Glennon, who brings a relative to the clinic, said that on three separate occasions, the clinic has been in different places.
Last week he turned up in the day room to find it filled with temporary beds and the clinic transferred to the chapel.
“When we heard that Naas hospital was getting more space I don’t think anybody expected that space to be in the chapel,” said Mr. Glennon.
The sanctuary and altar area had been curtained off and the people attending were sitting on the seats in the chapel, he explained.
Hospital manager John Leech said the decision was taken in consultation with the chaplain and assured that “everybody who attends the clinic will get a top quality service.”
He said the clinic will be run in a “dignified” and “tasteful” manner in a partitioned area of the church and if any patient had a particular objection they would be accommodated.

Crisis twist
This latest twist in the hospital crisis once again highlights the urgent need for the £21 million development and expansion planned for the hospital.
Fine Gael deputy Bernard Durkan, who has been vocal on the issue, said he is now satisfied it will proceed expediently.
Meanwhile, Mr Leech responding to an article in last week’s Leinster Leader, rebuked the claims by Fianna Fail councillor Charlie Byrne that plans to upgrade the hospital have been abandoned.
He pointed out that an application for planning approval will be lodged with the local authority in January 1988, and it is expected that construction will commence in August, 1998.
He added that “within the limits of our accommodation no effort is spared in ensuring that adequate staffing, equipment and supplies are available for the appropriate treatment of patients in our care.”