Endoscopy 10th Anniversary

Endoscopy 10th Anniversary

A Decade of cutting-edge care: Endoscopy at UHK (2014-2024)

In 2014, University Hospital Kerry (UHK) marked a significant milestone with the opening of its state-of-the-art Endoscopy Unit, inaugurated by the then Minister for Health Mr. James O’Reilly.  This cutting-edge facility, formerly a hospital laundry, underwent a complete reconstruction to meet the highest healthcare standards.

We are very pleased to be now celebrating a decade of excellence in endoscopic care at UHK. Since its opening, the Endoscopy Department at UHK has consistently achieved top international accreditation, ensuring exceptional healthcare for all patients.  Led by a team of highly skilled and compassionate professionals, the department prioritises patient-centred care, emphasising dignity, respect, and compassion in every interaction.

With a commitment to continuous improvement, the department aims to enhance patient access and deliver top-quality care while fostering pride among staff.  Dr Israr Un Nabi, Consultant Gastroenterologist at UHK said “We aim to listen and respond to patient’s feedback ensuring continuous care improvements.  Indeed, the Endoscopy Department has consistently achieved above the national standard for positive patient experiences.

Offering a range of consultant-led services in gastroenterology, surgery, respiratory, and urology, the Endoscopy Unit provides specialised care to prevent, diagnose, and treat referred patients.  Referrals are accepted from general practitioners, with regular outpatient clinics led by consultants and nurses to facilitate timely care.

The department’s multidisciplinary approach extends to inpatient consultations, collaborating closely with other clinical teams and specialists, including general surgeons, dieticians, and colorectal nurses.  This collaborative effort ensures comprehensive clinical care for a wide range of gastrointestinal conditions.

Since 2014, the Endoscopy Department has been integral to the National Bowel Screening Service, conducting over 3,000 patient procedures to date.  This vital service offers patients invaluable access to bowel screening, with diagnostic and therapeutic care delivered by expert endoscopists in the accredited unit at UHK.  As UHK celebrates a decade of excellence in endoscopic care, it remains committed to advancing patient outcomes and delivering compassionate, state-of-the-art healthcare to the community.


Pictured: Front L-R :: Carol Manix Director of Nursing at UHK , Olivia O Rahilly Past worker UHK , Hilary Coffey BowelScreen and Mary Fitzgerald  Manager University Hospital Kerry . Back L-R ::  Trish O’Connor UHK , Dr Israr Un Nabi – Consultant Gastroenterologist , Dr. Naveed Sultan – Consultant Physician ,   Eddie Myers ANP Endoscopy UHK ,  Kevin Murray Consultant Surgeon UHK and Karena Gilligan ,ADON  UHK   – Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD .


Plaque for Mr. Brian Waldron 

A plaque in memory of Mr. Brian Waldron RIP , Consultant General Surgeon at UHK, was also unveiled at the endoscopy services unit at UHK, honoring his invaluable contributions to healthcare. His legacy of excellence and compassion will forever inspire us. Our heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Waldron’s family and friends  for his dedication and service.”

Mr Brian Waldron , Consultant Surgeon joined the staff of UHK in 1999 . He is warmly remembered by the staff of UHK not only for his exceptional skills as a surgeon but his humility, kindness, compassion  and dedication to his patients .  Brian was a gentleman in every sense of the word .

Mary Fitzgerald  Manager University Hospital Kerry  said “He was an outstanding colleague who always had time for those that had the pleasure of working with him . It was well recognised  for his exceptional knowledge which he freely shared with colleagues.”

On the 10th Anniversary of the opening of the Endoscopy Unit , UHK , it is only fitting that Brian is remembered and recognised for the vast contribution he made to developing services in this unit and within  the surgical department in UHK .

“They are the best of us who improve the lives of others “

Pictured  Mary Fitzgerald  Manager University Hospital Kerry ,   Kevin Murray Consultant UHK and Eddie Myers endoscopy services UHK  . Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD .

Launch of People of UHK 2024

Launch of People of UHK 2024

Return of the People of UHK Awards:

Celebrating Excellence for the Third Year

University Hospital Kerry (UHK) is excited to announce the return of the People of UHK Awards for 2024, now in its third year. Once again, we invite the public to nominate deserving members of our UHK staff who have demonstrated exceptional commitment to patient care and service excellence.

Following the tremendous response from the public in previous years, with hundreds of nominations pouring in annually, the Awards have become an integral part of the UHK annual calendar. These awards recognise and celebrate the remarkable contributions made by UHK staff across all departments and disciplines.

Every day, the dedicated UHK team work tirelessly to ensure the well-being and comfort of patients and their families. The Awards provide an opportunity for patients and their loved ones to acknowledge and recognise those individuals and teams who have made a positive impact on their hospital experience.

Last year, thirteen deserving winners were honoured across team and individual categories, each receiving a bespoke UHK trophy and certificate in recognition of their outstanding achievements. Staff members from any department or service within UHK are eligible for nomination, with individuals both front-facing and behind the scenes being recognised for delivering exceptional patient care and assistance.

 This year, public nominations can be made in two categories:

  • The Patient Care Awards recognise exceptional care provided by any staff member who significantly contributes to patient well-being.
  • The Service Excellence Awards celebrates the vital contributions of non-clinical support service staff who operate behind-the-scenes.

 Mary Fitzgerald, General Manager of UHK, expressed her appreciation for the dedicated staff: “The People of UHK Awards celebrate the individuals and teams who go the extra mile and make a real difference to our patients, families, and colleagues. We are privileged to have such a passionate and dedicated team here at UHK, and we are delighted to have this opportunity to honour and recognise their service through these awards.

 The nomination period is now open until May 30th, 2024. We encourage everyone to submit their nominations online at www.uhk.ie/awards.   Nominations can also be made via hard copy with Nomination forms available at UHK main reception and via local press.



Pictured at the launch of the People of UHK Awards at UHK this week were Mary Fitzgerald, General Manager of UHK , Mary Gardiner (judge) and Dr Peter Browne UHK . Photo By : Domnick Walsh © Eye Focus LTD

Smoke Free Campus

Smoke Free Campus

Love is in ‘the air’

UHK Celebrates Valentine’s Day as a Smoke-Free Zone

On this Valentine’s Day, University Hospital Kerry [UHK] endorses its dedication to a healthier environment by reinvigorating its ‘No Smoking Campus’ policy and status. The policy comprises all UHK sites, reflecting the hospital’s ongoing journey towards being tobacco and e-cigarette-free.

In addition to creating a healthier and cleaner atmosphere, this smoke-free commitment aligns with UHK's
broader mission of promoting overall well-being. By ensuring that all UHK sites, including the Clash
Administration building and CentrePoint building in Tralee, are free from tobacco and e-cigarette use, UHK is
fostering an environment where patients, visitors, and staff can breathe freely.

While reflecting National and HSE policy, its implementation locally is testament to UHK’s broader mission and values to prioritise the health and well-being of everyone within its community. As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, this renewed commitment reflects the love and care that UHK extends to each individual who walks through its doors.

Whilst smoking and the use of electronic cigarettes/vapes is entirely prohibited inside, at entrances and outside
all buildings on the UHK campus, we are very happy to support in a meaningful way, anyone who decides to
break the practice. We offer a range of evidence based resources* here at UHK, to support you in quitting, by
making the healthier choice the easier choice!

Mary Fitzgerald General Manager:
‘We look forward to our Hospital and extended campus areas becoming cleaner and healthier with the complete
eradication of use of tobacco and electronic cigarettes. Stopping smoking at any age, is the single most
important thing a person can do to improve their health – So on this Valentine’s Day, afford some ‘real’ love to
yourself and to those around you by taking the first worthwhile steps in breaking free from smoking.’

Dr. Liam Chawke Consultant Respiratory Physician, UHK:
‘Cigarettes contain over 60 harmful known carcinogens. Smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer related
deaths, as well causing chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In addition, it effects other organs leading to
reduced physical health as well as overall quality of life.

Many people who smoke wish to quit, but find it difficult to do so without appropriate supports. It well
evidenced that nicotine replacement therapy, as well as linking with smoking cessation services significantly
 increases your chances of quitting long term.’ Your hospital or GP can refer you, and more helpful information
is available at www.quit.ie

*Local Supports
For Staff : The ‘Stop Smoking’ or ‘Smoking Cessation Service is available to all staff with services & resources to
quit smoking and/or in managing during working hours.  If you choose to quit smoking, then you will be referred
into the Kerry Stop Smoking Service where we have two local smoking cessation advisors. They will be delighted to support you face-to face. Using a standard treatment programme, which involves a combination of behavioural support and nicotine replacement therapy, our advisors will support you to be free of nicotine over a few short weeks.

For Patients : If you are a patient in UHK, you will be supported to suspend your smoking while in the hospital.
Nicotine-replacement products can ease your cravings and make you comfortable, while in University Hospital
Kerry. Those who wish to learn more about the free standard treatment programme, nicotine replacement therapy for
patients or staff or referral pathways can contact Tony.Duggan1@hse.ie

For Visitors to UHK and General Public : We encourage you to make contact with the clinic nearest to you on
the Quit.ie website at www2.hse.ie/living-well/quit-smoking. By availing of the one-to-one supports, as well as
the medications, you are four times more likely to quit, even if you have tried many times before. It is never
too late to quit.

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Oncology Unit Update

Oncology Unit Update

Oncology Unit Update

University Hospital Kerry Celebrates Milestone in the Development of State-of-the-Art Oncology Unit

University Hospital Kerry (UHK) is delighted to announce a major stride in the establishment of its cutting-edge permanent Oncology Unit with the submission of the Stage 1 building design. This achievement signifies a crucial advancement in the journey towards the realisation of a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to cancer care.  As we move forward, UHK remains committed to keeping the community informed and engaged throughout the development stages of this vital healthcare project, and other significant projects, through our website www.uhk.ie

While the full design and then construction of the stand-alone Oncology Unit will unfold over the coming years, this Stage 1 design stands as a pivotal moment, showcasing the commitment of UHK to advancing cancer treatment in the region.   In 2022, the Health Service Executive (HSE) formally granted approval to proceed, confirming the €17 million oncology Unit project [2.2m of which has been dedicated to  interim oncology unit], highlighting the significance and urgency of enhancing cancer care services in the community.

UHK’s permanent Oncology Unit is envisioned to be a comprehensive facility, catering to various aspects of cancer care.   Features of the unit will include: 

  • New Outpatient Unit: Tailored to enhance patient experience and streamline outpatient services.
  • Dedicated Chemotherapy Suites: Providing a specialised environment for administering advanced cancer treatments.
  • Isolation Facilities: Ensuring the highest standards of infection control and patient safety.
  • Compounding Unit (Drug Preparation): Equipped for the meticulous preparation of medications tailored to individual patient needs.
  • Spacious Clinical Areas: Designed to create a comfortable and efficient setting for medical professionals and patients alike.
  • Dedicated Car Parking: Addressing the practical needs of patients and their families during challenging times.
  • Teaching and Research Facilities: A commitment to advancing knowledge and fostering continuous improvement in cancer care.
  • Counseling and Support Rooms: Recognizing the importance of emotional and psychological well-being in the healing process.
  • Treatment Rooms for Allied Health Professionals: Providing space for comprehensive, multidisciplinary care.

The new Oncology Unit at UHK will not only a beacon of hope for patients and their families but also a testament to the hospital’s dedication to delivering the highest standards of cancer care.  This milestone underscores the collaborative effort between UHK, the HSE, Comfort for Chemo Kerry and the broader community to ensure that the people of Kerry have access to world-class oncology services.

This also marks a significant step forward in our mission to provide exceptional care, support, and hope to those facing the challenges of cancer.

 About University Hospital Kerry

University Hospital Kerry is a leading healthcare facility committed to delivering high-quality medical services to the community. The hospital is dedicated to continuous improvement, innovation, and compassionate care, ensuring the well-being of patients across various medical specialties.

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Waiting Lists 2023

Waiting Lists 2023

Reduction in Waiting Lists 

University Hospital Kerry Commends Hospital Staff for Remarkable Progress in Tackling Waiting Lists

University Hospital Kerry (UHK) extends heartfelt appreciation to its dedicated healthcare team as Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, lauded the substantial advancements made in addressing hospital waiting lists in Kerry throughout 2023.

The relentless efforts of UHK’s healthcare workers have resulted in a nearly 50% reduction in patients waiting over 12 months for an outpatient appointment and a remarkable 30% reduction in those awaiting inpatient/day-case procedures.

In his release on the 18th of January, Minister Donnelly emphasised the following achievements at University Hospital Kerry:

  • A significant 47% reduction, equating to 650 patients, in those waiting over 12 months for an outpatient appointment.
  • A commendable 30% reduction (100 patients) in individuals awaiting an inpatient/day-case procedure.
  • An impressive 95% reduction (40 patients) in those waiting over six months for an inpatient/day-case procedure.

Minister Donnelly stated, “Throughout 2023, we’ve been tackling waiting lists hospital by hospital and specialty by specialty. Thanks to the enormous efforts of our healthcare workers in University Hospital Kerry, we have fewer patients waiting now than we did a year ago. 2023 was the second year in a row that we achieved this progress, and I’m determined that fewer patients again will be waiting in Kerry at the end of 2024.”

General Manager of UHK, Mary Fitzgerald said ”UHK is immensely proud of its team for their unwavering commitment to providing timely and quality healthcare, ensuring a positive impact on the lives of patients in Kerry.”  On this occasion we particularly commend all members of the Scheduled Care Team UHK, who have delivered the significant waiting list reductions that Minister Donnelly has outlined this week”

Minister Donnelly added in his statement, “I would like to thank all our healthcare staff who have worked tirelessly to reduce our waiting lists. It is thanks to the huge efforts of all the frontline staff and management that 2023 was the second year in a row that national hospital waiting lists fell.”

Christmas Message

Christmas Message

A Christmas Wish

Thank You from UHK

🎄 Wishing You a Merry Christmas from UHK 🎄
As the festive season begins, our GM Mary Fitzgerald (see video below) wants to extend warm Christmas greetings to our incredible patients, their families, and our dedicated staff at University Hospital Kerry! 🎁
Thank you for being part of the UHK family, and here’s to a season filled with hope, health, and happiness️ #UHKChristmas #PeopleOfUHK #Community