Blackrock Clinic 30 years Behind the scenes


Thirty years ago, Blackrock Clinic opened its doors to patients who wanted access to the latest in cardiac and high tech surgical procedures. It was the first independent private hospital in Ireland with treatments funded wholly by private health insurance or where a patient could choose and pay for their own treatment.

The founders had a vision of a healthcare establishment which would complement and, where possible, supplement the work of the public sector health system.  It would do this with pioneering high-tech surgical procedures, medical treatments and ground-breaking diagnostics.

30 years later, that vision has produced an established, leading hospital with an unparalleled reputation. Blackrock Clinic is notable for its positive patient outcomes, many of which outstrip international standards.

160531_kap3_110Over the thirty years the hospital has been open, Blackrock Clinic was the first in Ireland to introduce:

  • PET scanning, November 2001;
  • Cardiac CT (Computed Tomography) scanning, 2006;
  • Transcatheter Aortic Valve replacement (TAVI), June 2008;
  • Minimally invasive mitral and tricuspid valve repair (a form of keyhole heart surgery), August 2011;
  • Percutaneous Endoscopic discectomy (a form of keyhole spinal surgery), July 15;
  • It is also the first private hospital in Ireland to introduce Peer reviewing software and procedures in its Radiology Department in 2016 to ensure that anomalies are identified and rectified quickly.

160531_kap3_053In the last 7 years Blackrock Clinic has invested over €150m in expanding the hospital and bringing patients some of the newest and best services which include:

  • Blackrock Clinic’s Emergency Department in September 2010;
  • The Blackrock Clinic Centre for Cardiac MRI opened in January 2012 offering Ireland’s first dedicated cardiac scanner. Today, this is one of the busiest scanners in Europe;
  • In October 2013, €4.5m was invested in a Hybrid Operating Theatre for EVARs (endovascular aneurysm repairs) via catheter. This approach removes the need for open surgery and reduces, if not halves patient recovery time;
  • In 2014, Blackrock Clinic introduced a number of new facilities and services:
  • a new renal dialysis unit for patients needing this service;
  • Due to patient demand, new Emergency Department was opened which was three times the size of the original ED, opened four years previously;
  • €12m was invested in a new state of the art Intensive Care Unit (ICU). It is the only ICU in Ireland to have full-time Consultants in Intensive Care Medicine delivering critical care and which complies with the guidelines of the NHS.
  • €7m was invested in a Central Decontamination Unit (CDU) to sterilise instruments and prevent the spread of infection; the unit includes separate lifts and corridors to segregate the transport of clean and used instruments to ensure no cross-contamination;
  • Blackrock Clinic’s first, branded, private ambulance hit County Dublin’s roads;

160601_kap3_212As part of the celebration, I was commissioned by the hospital to photograph those responsible for making the clinic run professionally and efficiently every day – the staff. From the surgeons who have performed world first’s, to the lab assistants, kitchen staff, nurses, pharmacists, receptionists, and maintenance crew, to name but a few – everyone employed by Blackrock Clinic has an important role to play and are an invaluable part of the team. This project is about paying homage to these staff members. A gallery of 25 images highlighting the work they do are now on display to the public within the Hospital, so take a look next time you visit.

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