Beacon Hospital enters ‘safety net’ agreement with HSE over Covid-19 capacity

Beacon Hospital Enters ‘Safety Net’ Agreement With Hse Over Covid-19 Capacity
The HSE said 18 private hospitals had now entered its agreement to provide surge capacity.
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Sarah Mooney

The Beacon Hospital has entered into a “safety net” agreement with the Health Service Executive (HSE) regarding the provision of surge capacity care for Covid-19 patients.

The private hospital had previously declined to sign an agreement with the HSE to provide surge capacity facilities during the pandemic.


The move was defended by the hospital’s CEO Michael Cullen, who said the hospital had taken its position because it had been up 70 per cent empty when it signed a similar deal with the HSE during a previous wave.

The hospital said that following a period of “renewed discussion and clarification,” it had entered into a deal that had addressed its concerns regarding operational control.

“We are pleased to confirm that we have agreed to sign a new surge agreement. We are comfortable that the agreement shared with us on Sunday night addresses the concerns that we had raised and are pleased to be in a position where we will work even more closely with the HSE in the days and weeks ahead,” Mr Cullen said in a statement.

“Over the past four months, between 15 per cent to 20 per cent of Beacon Hospital’s surgical capacity and 55 per cent of our ICU has been dedicated to meeting the healthcare needs of public patients with complex, time sensitive issues.


“We look forward to continuing to do this work and to increasing the capacity available - up to 30 per cent - if required by the HSE to help support the public system during this time of immense pressure.”

Mass vaccination centre

The Beacon Hospital said it had also offered the HSE the use of a “newly built” vaccination centre to support the ongoing national rollout, with the capacity to do up to 9,000 vaccinations per week.

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It added the HSE had indicated it would accept the offer and use the facility over the coming months. The centre has already been used to vaccinate almost 1,500 HSE frontline workers.

On Tuesday, the HSE welcomed the private hospital’s decision to “join the arrangement for service provision to support our collective response to the pandemic.”


In a statement, the HSE said: “This arrangement will provide support for public patients at a time when the public hospital system is under great pressure. We acknowledge that Beacon Hospital is already receiving patients from public hospitals and providing essential time dependent care for patients, and we look forward to working closely with them in the coming weeks.”

The HSE said 18 private hospitals had now entered its agreement to provide surge capacity during the pandemic.

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