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

*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

For Visitors to UHK and General Public : We encourage you to make contact with the clinic nearest to you on
the website at 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

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

Pathfinder Milestone

Pathfinder Milestone

Pathfinder Reach Milestone

First 100 Calls Reached

Pathfinder Kerry, the innovative healthcare initiative that commenced operations in early August 2023, is proud to announce the completion of its 100th call on November 21, 2023.

 Pathfinder Kerry is as a groundbreaking service, designed to deliver personalised care to individuals aged 65 and over who dial 999/112, right in the comfort of their own homes. The Pathfinder Kerry team, consisting of an Advanced Paramedic and an Occupational Therapist/Physiotherapist, conducts comprehensive assessments during home visits to determine if individuals can safely remain at home instead of being transported to the Emergency Department of UHK.

 In a remarkable outcome, 74% of the individuals assessed during the first 100 calls successfully continued their care at home, showcasing the effectiveness of Pathfinder Kerry’s tailored approach.

 “We are extremely pleased to be able to offer this service to suitable older people here in our local Kerry community.” said Mary Fitzgerald Hospital Manager, University Hospital Kerry.

 Pathfinder Kerry expresses gratitude to its dedicated team and looks forward to continuing its mission of enhancing the quality of healthcare for the people of Kerry.


Further Information About Pathfinder Kerry:

 Pathfinder Kerry is a transformative healthcare initiative launched in August 2023, providing personalised care to individuals aged 65 and over who contact emergency services. With a focus on in-home assessments, Pathfinder Kerry aims to reduce unnecessary transports to the Emergency Department, ensuring tailored and effective care for the senior community. For full details visit:

Interim Oncology Unit

Interim Oncology Unit

Interim Oncology Unit

Official opening of Oncology Interim Unit

University Hospital Kerry (UHK) is honoured to announce the official opening of its newly renovated Interim Oncology Day Ward on the 10th of November 2023.

Located within the hospital in a reconfigured space of the Ratoo Ward, this dedicated medical oncology unit exemplifies a commitment to patient-centred care and comfort.

The newly transformed unit provides a modern, bright, and compassionate environment, ensuring patients experience privacy and a welcoming atmosphere.  UHK’s teams supported by the CUH oncology Directorate along with HSE Estates  have meticulously planned the interim unit, placing patients and their journeys at the heart of the design.  Patient feedback has been invaluable in shaping this purpose-built space, ensuring it meets the needs of those undergoing treatment. A specific contribution was also made to this Unit by the ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry’ charity in the form of funding for specialist relaxing treatment chairs designed to support our patients with comfort during this challenging time.

When UHK first commenced an oncology service in 2001 there were approximately 831 patients – Today with over 220 new patients annually, there are over 3,000 patients under continuing surveillance with us.  Further, a survivorship[1] clinic has commenced at UHK seeing breast cancer patients initially & plans to expand to other patient cohorts next, to ensure patients have the supports they need to get back to living.   The demand for cancer treatments has significantly increased, with Patients at UHK and elsewhere receiving more treatments for longer.  The number of patients receiving infusional anti-cancer treatment in UHK has in fact increased by 30% since 2019.  All of which has prompted the expansion of the oncology services at UHK. The Interim Unit boasts a 40% increase in capacity, allowing for a more extensive range of treatments, including innovative therapies like immunotherapy.   This expansion not only accommodates the existing growth in patient numbers, it also enables flexible scheduling and urgent treatments.

While this interim unit addresses the immediate needs, UHK is diligently focusing on the development of a permanent stand-alone oncology unit. Currently at the design stage, this future-proofed facility aims to provide safe, timely, and evidence-based care for oncology patients.   Dr Sinead Noonan, Consultant Medical Oncologist, has highlighted that “While this Interim Unit will meet our current demand, it is crucial that we focus our energies now to the development of a permanent stand-alone oncology unit. One which will be future-proofed to provide safe, timely, evidenced-based care to our oncology patients. This planned permanent unit will also enable us to meet the projected doubling of patient numbers over the next ten years.

The UHK Management Team expressed their gratitude to the Palliative Care Services, staff members who relocated from the Ratoo Ward, and the dedicated teams in Estates, Maintenance, and Building Contractors for their invaluable support in making this transition possible.  Mary Fitzgerald said “Your dedication has turned the vision into reality. To all of the staff who worked tirelessly, ensuring a smooth service transition to the new interim Unit.  Thanks to you, our patients will receive the care they need in their new surroundings”

Acknowledging the exceptional dedication of UHK’s oncology team, including nurses, clinical nurse specialists, advanced nurse practitioners, registrars, consultants, and support staff, the hospital also extended its heartfelt thanks to the people of Kerry.  Their unwavering support has played a pivotal role in bringing holistic, patient-centred oncology care closer to home.