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Celebrating 10 Years at Crumlin’s Children’s Heart Centre

Celebrating 10 Years at Crumlin’s Children’s Heart Centre

Nov. 17, 2023

All CHI locations


The Children’s Heart Centre in CHI at Crumlin is a state-of-the-art unit dedicated to providing cardiac care to children from birth up to the age of 16. It was purpose built, and designed specifically with the needs of our patients and their loved ones in mind. Its facilities allow our team to provide exceptional care to those in need of a broad spectrum of cardiac care.

From 6th – 10th November, the patients and staff in the Children’s Heart Centre are celebrating our 10 year anniversary! They have had a concert, a bake off, a foodfest, an awards ceremony, a parade, and have done lots of heart-themed arts and crafts.

Celebrating 10 Years at Crumlin's Children's Heart Centre

  • CHI at Crumlin Children's Heart Centre - 10 year anniversary parade - Hailey Cooney and her Dad_

  • CHC Costume Parade 08.11.23 033

  • CHI at Crumlin Children's Heart Centre - 10 year anniversary parade - Amy Ferguson leading the parade_

  • CHC Costume Parade 08.11.23 027_

Ten years ago, in November 2013, the Children’s Heart Centre at Crumlin opened its doors to deliver world class care to children in Ireland with heart disease. Each year 450 babies are born with a serious congenital heart defect that needs treatment. The money for the centre was raised entirely by private donations and fundraising contributions – over €4.5million.

The aim for the Heart Centre was to change the lives of 1,500 children per year by greatly improving their patient experience, and to improve the standard of accommodation for them, their parents and guardians, to give them a better quality of life at a time when everything else can feel very difficult and overwhelming. Today, as we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Children’s Heart Centre, it has transformed the care provided to Paediatric Cardiology patients and their families.

Prof Orla Franklin, Consultant in Cardiology, sees first-hand the difference the Heart Centre has made for patients:

““It is incredible to see how far we have come, and it is all with thanks to our generous donors. Ten years ago we were working in unacceptable and inadequate conditions, it simply wasn’t good enough for our patients. Today, we have an impressive multi-disciplinary team working in a ward that was built for us and designed for our patients and their families. We are delivering the best care in the best environment’ “Most of our patients first meet us as newborn babies who come within hours of being born. In 80% of cases the diagnosis of heart disease is made at the 20 week pregnancy scan. We are able to bring these mums and dads into the centre before they given birth, to meet their team and to become familiar with the journey they will go on with their baby. Most importantly, as soon as these babies are born they are transferred to us to benefit from treatment quickly before their cardiac condition causes them to deteriorate.

The nature of congenital heart disease and its treatment requires a large consultant-led multi-disciplinary team (MDT). The MDT team at the Heart Centre includes consultant cardioloigsts and surgeons, nurse specialists, advanced nurse practitioners, health care assistants, anaesthesiologists, intensivists, psychologists, social workers, physiotherapists, clinical nutritionists, pharmacist, play specialist, speech and language therapists, spiritual councillors, household staff and a skilled, dedicated administrative team. Families also have access to facilities such as a playroom, hospital school, play specialist, social work team, hospital chapel and parent’s room.

The Department of Paediatric Cardiology in CHI is a member of the All Island Congenital Heart Network. All emergency and urgent and elective paediatric cardiac surgery for children and young people on the island of Ireland takes place in CHI at Crumlin.

Dr Paul Oslizlok is Chair of the Network, he said:

“The All Island Congenital Heart Network is the organisational umbrella which, together with our clinical centres, North and South of the border, provides diagnosis and treatment for all children and young people with heart disease on the Island of Ireland, irrespective of geography. This is a unique Model of Care, supported and funded by both Departments of Health, North and South. It ensures that all new-borns, infants and children receive a world class cardiology and cardiac surgical service. The Network’s success is based on close, seamless cooperation between our sister units: the Children’s Heart Centre at Children’s Health Ireland and Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, along with our satellite centres in Cork, Limerick, Galway, Craigavon and Altnagelvin. As well as governmental support, we are supported strongly by the Children’s Health Foundation and by the family support charities both North and South - the Children’s Heartbeat Trust and Heart Children Ireland. The essence of the All Island Congenital Heart Network is the dedication, hard work, expertise and cooperation of the staff in all its constituent units. We are forever grateful to the Children’s Heart Centre at CHI, Crumlin for embracing and supporting the Network and for the extraordinary care they provide to new-borns, infants and children, throughout the island, with all forms of heart disease. We congratulate the Children's Heart Centre on their 10-year anniversary and applaud the vision and generosity of those whose kindness and dedication made it happen.

Hugh Kane, Interim CEO of Children's Health Foundation, said:

““The Children’s Heart Centre was fully funded by donations to Children’s Health Foundation. As we celebrate the 10 year anniversary, we acknowledge the amazing work and staff within the centre, and thank our supporters as the unit wouldn’t exist without your donations to help sick children and their families.”

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