UCD opens new clinical research centre at Wexford General Hospital in IEHG partnership

Posted 15 April, 2019

Professor Andrew Deeks, President UCD, Lily Byrnes, General Manager of Wexford Regional Hospital, Mary Day, CEO of Ireland East Hospital Group, and Professor Peter Doran, Director at UCD Clinical Research Centre

University College Dublin, the academic partner in the Ireland East Hospital Group (IEHG), has opened its first clinical research centre outside Dublin in Wexford General Hospital.

The new clinical research centre will link to the comprehensive research facilities and supports provided by the UCD School of Medicine and to wider studies carried out at the Mater, St Vincent’s and the National Maternity Hospital.

Clinical research aims to discover ways to improve medical care and the quality of life for patients who are living with chronic illness.  

UCD opened clinical research centres at the Mater Misericordiae and St. Vincent's University Hospitals in 2006.

With these centres, researchers at the University have undertaken over 200 studies and 130 clinical trials with patients suffering from various chronic diseases including end-stage kidney disease, pulmonary fibrosis and cancer.

Patients taking part in trials donate samples to the clinic on a regular basis, and these are assessed in the context of their own treatment and for the development of more accurate therapies for these diseases in general.

“Wexford General Hospital will be the first Level 3 hospital in the Ireland East Hospital Group to be able to avail of expert research support, educational programmes, and oversight of clinical research within the hospital,” said UCD President Professor Andrew J Deeks.

“We will support clinicians based in Wexford by providing facilities for high quality clinical research as well as a cohort of professional and experienced research scientists, data managers and clinical research nurses who ensure studies are conducted and managed to the highest levels of quality.”

He added: “We keep patients centremost by providing excellent clinical care and access to the latest clinical interventions alongside the motivation to encourage participation in a trial process that – even if it cannot guarantee to cure them – may lead to better therapies for future patients.”

Dubbing the new centre a “great success story for Wexford General” Mary Day, CEO of Ireland East Hospital Group, said that the partnership between UCD and the IEHG ensured “all patients in our hospital group, regardless of geography, are provided access to cutting edge care.”

“The growing collaboration and closer working together allows integration and improved patient flow across the continuum of care. This enables our hospital services within the Group to deliver high-quality patient care in the most cost-effective manner”

Lily Byrnes, General Manager of Wexford General Hospital added: “Research is critical to ensuring we not only have the best treatments, but also to make sure we have the knowledge to respond to changing trends.”

Professor Peter Doran, Director of Clinical Research at UCD said: “Our work here in Wexford will contribute to medical research that aims to develop new cures and better treatments for patients. We aim to create a scientific and caring culture for the benefit of present and future patients.”

Wexford General Hospital is one of eleven hospitals in the Ireland East Hospital Group, and is the major adult hospital in the South East region providing acute and emergency, paediatric and maternity care services for the local area as well as specialist referral services for the region.

The hospital has 210 inpatient and 27 outpatient beds and treats approximately 15,000 inpatients and 9,000 day cases per annum.

The Ireland East Hospital Group serves a population of 1.1 million people and its eleven hospitals provide services on three levels; those serving local catchment areas, specialist/tertiary services delivered to regional populations and quaternary services delivered nationally.

These include national units for heart, lung, liver and pancreas transplant; national spinal unit; national isolation unit for infectious diseases, national unit for cystic fibrosis, national unit for pulmonary hypertension, national unit for neuroendocrine tumours, and cardiothoracic surgery.

The Ireland East Cancer Clinical Academic Directorate is the largest cancer service in the country caring for over 45% of patients treated for breast cancer in Ireland and 25% of patients treated for prostate cancer.

A core objective of the IEHG is to develop an Academic Health Science Centre, where education and professional healthcare training along with research contribute to patient care and well-being, supported by strong engagement with primary, community and continuing care partners.

By Staff Writers, UCD University Relations