Projects Supported By Donors

We regularly feature wonderful stories of fundraising for the hospital. Here we feature more examples of the many projects that have been made possible by this fundraising and by donations of all kinds, as well as the practical impact that donors and fundraisers have had on patient care in St. Vincent’s Hospital. 

The list is, by no means exhaustive, but does demonstrate how important donors and fundraisers are to the wellbeing of our patients. Broadly the investments are across medical research, medical education and equipment, as well as investments in patient and family comforts, and equipment.

We don’t generally highlight the donors who enabled these projects because many of them are made up of several smaller donations and many of our contributors wish to remain anonymous. Here are just some of the successes.

The investments we feature are making a hugely significant contribution to our patient care and will continue to do so for the years ahead. They clearly evidence that the various efforts our supporters have made to raise funds are central to our capacity to achieve our worldclass potential. We thank them again.

ENT improvements thanks to a €100,000 donation:
The generosity of an anonymous donation of €100,000 made in January 2023, has enabled a hugely positive investment that would not have happened otherwise. In our Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Department a key investigative procedure requires a reusable naso-pharyngeal scope.

After each use this equipment needs to be fully decontaminated. Currently this is done in a three-stage process as it has been historically. As technology has evolved in this area, this has become the least preferred option, internationally, to do the cleaning.

This most generous donation has enabled us to commission a fully automated system to replace this process at a total cost of €96,579. As well as the process efficiencies which will enable us to deal with many more ENT patients in the same time period, the process is total traceable and validated.

It is a wonderful addition to our capacity for care in ENT and doubly important because the number of ENT patients presenting is growing all the time for a variety of reasons. Sincere thanks on behalf of our patients to the anonymous donor.

T.V.’s for Caritas step-down facility:
St. Vincent’s Foundation was pleased to provide a grant of €7,233 for the provision of 26 TV’s in the premises previously occupied by Caritas but now used as a “step-down” facility for SVUH. Caritas currently caters for 31 patients who no longer need the intensive nursing/medical care that SVUH provides but are not ready for discharge. It serves well in alleviating pressure on the hospital beds. SVF has invested heavily in the TV population throughout SVUH ensuring that every ward area is appropriately provided with working TVs. It has had a very positive effect and it seems wrong that step-down patients would be any less well served.

SVF grant for Medical English classes for Ukrainian doctors in Ireland:
St. Vincent’s University Hospital was pleased to announce in May 2023, the successful graduation of 25 Ukrainian doctors from a comprehensive English language course. The course was initiated and developed by SVUH consultants Dr. John Holian and Prof Hugh Mulcahy and supported by the hospital management.

The course was delivered by Ukrainian lecturer Prof Oksana Kachurets in response to the significant language barrier faced by Ukrainian doctors arriving in Ireland. St. Vincent’s Foundation was delighted to support this great initiative with a grant of €2,280.

Dietary Machine for C.F. Unit:
Due to a most generous donation of €9,000 from the McNamara Family in Waterford in July 2023, a Bio-electrical Impedence Analysis (BIA) machine was purchased for the C.F. Unit.

Clodagh Landers, a Dietitian with the C.F. Unit outlines “The staff and patients in the CF Unit would like to extend their sincere thanks to the McNamara family for their extremely generous donation to fund the purchase of a BIA machine. This will facilitate in-depth analysis of body composition of people with CF to improve our clinical practice in line with international guidelines. It will also support future collaborative research projects with other CF centres across Ireland.”

Recliner Chairs for C.F. Unit:
The McNamara Family also generously donated €11,980 during summer 2023 for the purchase of recliner chairs for St. Christopher’s C.F. Unit.

From the Philip Dunne “Sunflower” project we were able to complete the replacement and upgrading of the recliner chairs in St. Christopher’s. This is important for patients and their families using these facilities.

Reclining chairs & Sofa’s in the Liver Unit:
Thanks to the generosity of donors to the Liver Unit, we recently purchased two recliner chairs and 2 sofas for the relative’s room on St. Brigid’s Ward.

New Next Generation Sequencing Service at St. Vincent’s University Hospital:
Enabled by a grant from St. Vincent’s Foundation and other kind philanthropic contributors, St. Vincent’s recently invested in a state of the art technology that will have a major positive impact on the care for our patients. We are grateful to Dr. Maura Cotter, Consultant Histopathologist, S.V.U.H. for summarising this service:

“We are very pleased to announce our in-house solid tumour next generation sequencing (NGS) service is up and running in St. Vincent’s University Hospital since August 2023. Our molecular laboratory now houses a vital piece of new equipment which allows for the simultaneous detection of multiple genes from the one patient tumour sample. The generous donation from St. Vincent’s Foundation significantly contributed to the purchase of this NGS instrument, the first NGS platform to be set up within the hospital.

The treatment options for cancer patients have grown significantly over the past few years with the development of molecular targeted therapies. The Oncomine Focus Assay allows us to understand the mutational profile of tumour samples and more precisely guide personalised treatment decisions against the specific molecular alterations identified. We now routinely report tumour-specific gene panels for pancreatic, bile duct, colonic, bladder, melanoma and breast cancers among others. Having the equipment in-house enables us to give a detailed report to our oncologists and patients as soon as possible rather than outsourcing requests.

This is an exciting time for our department and for our molecular team who have worked tirelessly to get us to this point. Our vision is to further develop our molecular service by expanding our cancer panels and cancer testing down the line. Providing our clinicians with the molecular information they need accurately and quickly so they can take care of our SVUH patients is truly essential.”

Creation of a Simulation Laboratory in St. Vincent’s:
It is just in the implementation phase towards the end of 2023, but we are excited to announce a significant development at St. Vincent’s University Hospital: the creation of a state-of-the-art simulation laboratory dedicated to the memory of our late colleague, Mr Enda McDermott (R.I.P.). This transformative initiative has been made possible through a generous donation from the McDermott family and UCD, and will be housed on the ground floor of our Education & Research Centre.

The Simulation Laboratory represents a milestone in health professionals’ education and patient safety. The first phase of construction marks the beginning of providing an inter-professional collaborative immersive learning environment. This facility, which will incorporate cutting-edge technology and simulation techniques, will empower our staff and students to enhance their skills leading to improved quality of care and patient safety – which is the ultimate objective.

This initiative exemplifies SVUH’s commitment to continuous learning and excellence. Through high quality simulation-based education, healthcare professionals can learn together, practice and rehearse in a controlled and risk-free setting. This not only benefits our hospital and our patients but it will also strengthen the broader medical community.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the McDermott family for their extraordinary support. Their generosity will leave a lasting impact on our patients, staff and organisation aligning perfectly with SVUH’s mission to provide exceptional medical services and promote continuous learning.

Acknowledgement for a wonderful support group St. Vincent’s Private Hospital:
The management in St. Vincent’s Private Hospital have highlighted a Palliative Care initiative that is very helpful to patients and their families. The project is described below and we could not do better than transcribe it fully. We are indebted to all concerned:

“Inspired by the comfort gained from initiatives used to maintain connections among patients and their loved ones during the pandemic, the Palliative Care Team at St. Vincent’s Private Hospital have introduced ‘Memory Hearts’ to enhance the support provided to patients under their care.

Joan Jones had previously made syringe driver covers for patients and when approached about this endeavour kindly agreed to help. For almost 2 years Joan along with her fellow crafters from Greystones has provided hundreds of these precious hearts. Each heart is beautifully handmade and graciously donated. The idea is that the patient keeps one heart, and matching hearts are given to those closest to them. This offers a tangible symbol of the love held between them and which can be cherished as a keepsake.

The feedback has been profoundly moving. We wish to extend our gratitude to this wonderful group of women for enabling the provision of this invaluable memory making resource.”

Liver Transplant Patient Day:
St. Vincent’s Foundation was delighted to make a significant grant to enable a key Liver event to take place. The key objective of the Liver Transplant Patient Day, in addition to celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the inauguration of the National Liver Transplant programme, was to assist current and future patients to achieve better outcomes. The Patient Day was held in UCD on Saturday 14th October 2023. The day was a huge success and we are grateful to Dr. Audrey Dillon, Consultant Hepatologist for summarising the event for us: “The National Liver transplant programme celebrated 30 years and 1300 liver transplants in SVUH with a patient education day in the O’Reilly Hall UCD attended by 500 recipients, their families and both current and past members of staff.

Mr. Justin Geoghegan, who recently retired from the programme opened the day, followed by a series of talks on the history of the unit presented by Prof. Oscar Traynor, surgeon who founded the programme and Prof. Aiden McCormick, Hepatologist; healthy diet, activity and skincare after transplant presented by Ms. Niamh O’Sullivan, Clinical Specialist Dietician, Ms. Laura Talty, Senior Physiotherapist and Ms. Louise Fleming, Skin Cancer CNS and on the future aspirations of the programme presented by Dr. Audrey Dillon, Hepatologist and Mr Emir Hoti, Transplant Surgeon. The highlights of the day for many were the presentations on the patient journey through transplant from two recent recipients as well as an inspiring talk by Ms. Kaye Duffy, O.B.E., founder of the Royal Victoria Hospital Liver Support Group.

There were glowing reports of the chats at lunch and while there was much happy emotion, there was a quiet reflection in remembrance of donors, and recipients who had passed away. A group of patients were inspired to set up a St. Vincent’s Liver Transplant Support Group, details of which will be shared with the 690 recipients who still attend the liver transplant service.”

Familial Lung Fibrosis Research project:
Due to the generosity and amazing fundraising efforts of David Crosby (€38,258 raised to date), St. Vincent’s Foundation was delighted to allocate a grant of €35,000 to the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, to support a Familial Lung Fibrosis Research project being conducted by Prof. Killian Hurley, in R.C.S.I. Prof. David Healy Thoracic Surgeon here in St. Vincent’s was delighted to support this project commenting: “All this money was raised by the efforts of David Crosby and all donors contributed on the basis that the money was for Lung Fibrosis research. David achieved this, running himself in three marathons. David went on a thorough search for a research recipient, that would deliver research output and scientific return on investment. He and his team have identified Killian Hurley’s gene focused research work as the optimum recipient and I fully support this money being activated and used”.

On behalf of current and future patients dealing with Lung Fibrosis, we thank David Crosby.

National Simultaneous Pancreas & Kidney Study Day:
In October 2023, St. Vincent’s Foundation was pleased to financially support this highly important event. We should stress that this would not have been possible without the funds provided to the Foundation from fundraising events and donations. We think that donors will be proud to see how this medical area of key focus in St. Vincent’s will be enabled to improve outcomes for patients as a consequence of this and similar activities in the future.

We are delighted that Caroline Doyle, Transplant Coordinator in S.V.U.H. has summarised the content, atmosphere and outcomes from the day. Caroline’s report is reproduced below:

“On the 13th October 2023 we had our National Simultaneous Pancreas & Kidney Study Day. We gathered together an exceptional team of national and international experts, clinicians, coordinators & patients for a day filled with insightful discussions, informative presentations, and invaluable knowledge sharing.

Keynote speakers included: Mr. Tom Gallagher (SVUH), Mr. Andrew Sutherland (Edinburgh), Marie Ni Chinneide (SVUH Transplant Coordinator), Mr. Marek Mazur (University Hospital Kerry), Caroline Doyle (SVUH Transplant Coordinator), a Kidney & Pancreas Transplant Recipient, Dr. Ciara Magee (Beaumont Hospital), Mr. Neal Dugal (Beaumont Hospital), Ms. Fiona Hand (SVUH), Ms. Anne Brennan (SVUH), Dr. Christos Andreou (SVUH) & Dr. Konstantinos Alifieris (SVUH).

This National Study Day brought together professionals who were previously unconnected, enabling a holistic approach to understanding Simultaneous Pancreas & Kidney Transplants. There was an excellent turnout from around the country and feedback during and following the event was hugely positive with the hope of repeating this type of event again in the future.

A massive thank you to everyone who participated, shared their knowledge and engaged in discussions and to the support from St. Vincents Foundation and our sponsors, without whom such an event could never have taken place.”

SVF grant for new T-Pro Digital Dictation System:
Enabled by a grant of €75,000 from St. Vincent’s Foundation, St. Vincent’s University Hospital introduced a cutting-edge Digital Dictation System called T-Pro. It incorporates advanced speech recognition technology integrated with Patient Record and appointments systems.

T-Pro is designed to speed up communications with patients, ensuring earlier confirmation of appointments and meetings with healthcare providers. T-Pro is being introduced to the Hospital on a phased basis. With the full implementation, we can optimise our clinical workflows and provide a higher standard of care to our patients. This would not have been possible without the kindness of donors.

Chemo Compounding Robot in St. Vincent’s Private Hospital:
Enabled by money donated specifically for the benefit of St. Vincent’s Private Hospital (SVPH), St. Vincent’s Foundation made a grant of €100,000 to purchase a Chemo Compounding Robot in S.V.P.H.

Hospital Management describe the benefits of this investment: “S.V.P.H. is extremely grateful for the Foundation’s support which has facilitated SVPH being the first Private hospital in Ireland to order an Aseptic (Chemo) Compounding Robot,. S.V.P.H. has the busiest private Oncology service in Ireland. The Aseptic Compounding Unit team consists of 19 dedicated Technicians and Pharmacists who currently work in a challenging work environment using manual isolators to compound the chemo.

Hazardous drugs including chemotherapy must be made in controlled clean room conditions to protect the staff from the product and the product from the environment. This Compounding Robot presents an excellent opportunity to increase staff safety while increasing product output to maximise patient treatments.”

Brian Fitzgerald, C.E.O. of S.V.P.H. said: “The most important element of the care we provide to our patients is the quality of staff we employ and we are committed to providing our staff with an excellent working environment. Our investment in an Aseptic (Chemo) Compounding Robot will help minimise work related strain injuries while also increasing our capacity to care for a greater number of Oncology patients”.

We are deeply indebted to all the donors who made this investment possible.

Facilities Upgrade in St. Anne’s Ward:
Following the generosity of several fundraisers, we were able to improve the environment in St. Anne’s Ward. It enabled improvements in the Family Room in the ward, delivered high quality appropriate seating throughout. This is a great support to patients and to their families.

Liver Unit Ultrasound Portable Scanner:
This was identified by a donor, who like many others over the years, wants to remain anonymous. This investment would not have happened at this time without the intervention of this very kind supporter. The machine is in place, fully functional and having a positive impact for patients.

Specialist Exercise Machine for St Anne’s Ward:
We have featured the fundraising success of a former patient, Charlene Murphy, and her husband Padraig. As well as raising funds for a number of hospitals involved in her care and that of her baby Freya, the family purchased an exercise machine (pictured) specifically designed to enable vulnerable patients to exercise in safety from their hospital bed. This is proven to be very effective in the recovery journey of patients and many will benefit from it over the coming years.

Televisions for all Wards:
It was obvious to us that the quality and reliability of the televisions in wards was quite inadequate so with funds donated from many sources, St. Vincent’s Foundation paid for a full T.V. upgrade programme, and replacement, in the majority of cases. This has been completed and, particularly for long-stay patients, has improved immeasurably the comfort during their time in the hospital.

Specialist Nurse Education:
During the Covid-19 period, St. Vincent’s significantly increased the staffing in our Intensive Care Unit (ICU). To enable these additional staff to be at their most effective they completed a specialist post-graduate qualification in UCD. Enabled by many donations, St. Vincent’s Foundation was able to finance approx. 10 of these course with immediate and enduring enhancement of patient care in ICU. Ann Flynn, Director of Nursing makes reference to this in her article in our 2022 Friends of St. Vincent’s magazine. In addition we supported advanced Nurse Education in Rheumatology.

Breast Cancer Research:
Continuing the success of a collaboration with Trinity College, we continued to fund a programme of research into a specific aspect of Breast Cancer. It has delivered very positive progress to date leading, as we have highlighted before, to further substantial funding from external sources to great effect. We expect to continue to support this work.

PhD Support in Medical Specialties:
Continuing education is vital to gaining insights and improvements in modern medicine and has been an area of support from St. Vincent’s Foundation. During this last year we were able to support staff in PhD programmes in partnership with University College Dublin, in Respiratory medicine, Chronic illness, Radiology, Infectious Diseases and Liver Disease.

Publication of Specialist Medical Research Papers:
Advances in medical science and consequent patient outcomes are propelled by a collaborative approach among medical and scientific communities around the world. Central to this is the publication of Investigative papers and sharing of findings. St. Vincent’s Foundation was proud to fund some of these papers.

Major research in Obesity:
For many years, under the guidance of Prof Donal O’Shea (pictured), St. Vincent’s has been able, through the generosity of donors, to provide very significant funding for this important medical discipline. The contribution this year is better expanded by this insight from the team:

In 2020, a novel virus we now know as SARS-COV-2 rapidly emerged on the world. This virus caused COVID-19 a respiratory disease which proved to be fatal in over 6.5 million individuals. Based on previous viral pandemics we predicted that people living with obesity would be at greater risk, with more severe outcomes. Unfortunately this was confirmed with PWO (People with Obesity) more likely to be; infected with, hospitalised with and die from

Luckily a suite of vaccines were developed quicker than ever before, dramatically changing outcomes. However a major concern persisted – would the vaccines be effective in PWO. Studies from influenza and hepatitis indicated that PWO have sub-optimal vaccine responses, resulting in loss of protection. It was unknown if the same was true for COVID-19 infection and vaccination.

We wanted to answer this unknown as quickly as possible. We received very generous philanthropic funding via St. Vincent’s Foundation which allowed us to start these studies immediately. In collaboration with both Prof Patrick Mallon and the Irish Coalition for People with Obesity (ICPO) which rapidly recruited cohorts of individuals who were recovering from Covid-19 or who had received the Covid-19 vaccine, and set about answering the unknown.

We have since completed and published two studies (Wrigley-Kelly et al Obesity 2022 & Wrigley-Kelly et alInternational Journal of Obesity 2022) which shows that PWO can generate protective immunity after recovering from or being vaccinated against COVID-19, which is excellent news.Photo from I.C.P.O. (Irish Coalition for People Living with Obesity) promoting positive images of people living with Obesity

Transplant Programmes
We think this is an opportune time to share some information on two major areas of activity in St. Vincent’s, which involve organ transplantation. These have proven to be life-changing for so many patients and demonstrate in a terrific way the outcomes that can be achieved.

Liver Unit and Liver Transplants:
The Transplant programme started in St. Vincent’s in 1993 and we are the National Centre for Liver Transplants. The Centre in St. Vincent’s was officially opened by the then Minister for Health, Mr Brendan Howlin. Initially the programme was operated, for two years, in liaison with Kings College Hospital, London where a similar programme had been running for some time. Within a relatively short period the Irish programme was achieving similar results to those experienced in the UK.

Over the 29 years since inception the specialised team in St. Vincent’s has transplanted almost 1,300 patients with a yearly average now of 55 to 60. Patients from all over Ireland are treated for Liver disease, some requiring transplants, many not so. To meet these patients is to experience the human success of the programme which has been life-saving in so many cases and equally life-transforming in so many others. People have been able to resume full lifestyles while continuing to be monitored and cared for in the hospitals.

Donors and fundraisers have always contributed to the success of the Liver Programme. Each and every supporter should be proud in the knowledge that everything they have done has facilitated investment in specialist training, in medical equipment and in
research. Together these enable St. Vincent’s to be a world-class facility for this treatment.

A constraint on Transplantation programmes is the availability of donor organs. We are all encouraged to carry donor cards and record our donor intention on our driving licences where relevant. We would appeal to all to give this positive consideration.

Pancreas Transplant Programme:
In 2016 St. Vincent’s University Hospital was established as the new home of the National Pancreas Transplant Programme. The surgical teams from Beaumont Hospital and SVUH work closely together, in SVUH, to carry out the Simultaneous Pancreas & Kidney (S.P.K.) transplants. Since then, there have been 27 transplants carried out, including 8 transplants in 2022.

SVUH provides a Consultant led Pancreas Transplant Service for those patients with Type 1 Diabetes. Mr Tom Gallagher, Dr John Holian and Dr Aisling O’Riordan have taken the lead in this matter.

Patients who require a simultaneous pancreas and kidney transplant are cared for in SVUH by a multi-disciplinary team, which combines the expertise of the surgical team and nephrologists in SVUH with the renal transplant team from Beaumont Hospital.

As the programme continues to grow in SVUH, we hope to increase the yearly transplant numbers. This can only be achieved through awareness and with the continued selfless generosity of donors and donor families to whom we are so grateful for.

Finally, we want to say a big thank you to fundraisers and donors and to the families of those, who by donating organs, gave the chance of life to others after their death.

St. Michael’s Hospital Dietetics:
In an innovative project, St. Michael’s Hospital created an interesting and highly effective Dietary Management system for patients. Included in the investment were specialist Robot food blenders and Robot sieving equipment.

Information Technology for Patient Care:
We financed laptop and ipad equipment for better information management in clinical ward settings leading to quicker inputs to patient treatment.

Arthroscopy Equipment:
Financed by restricted Rheumatology funds in St. Vincent’s Foundation we were able to support the purchase of a Karl Storz Camera System for care of patients in Rheumatology for which we are very grateful. In addition patient care was enhanced by the acquisition of additional Rheumatology scopes.

Conference Attendance:
In addition to formal education and engagement in medical practice, attendance at specialist conferences is extremely effective in sharing experiences and in growing expertise. During the year we were pleased to assist staff in attending such conferences including Psycho-Oncology, Pain Management and Orthopaedics.

We should also express our gratitude to a number of Pharmaceutical companies who have supported these conferences with educational grants.

Support for Research Centres:
In co-operation with Biobank Trust Ireland, we assisted in obtaining additional freezer equipment for the Biological Resource Centre (BRC) in the Education & Research Centre, in the hospital. This will supplement the capacity for carrying out their vital work in medical research.

The BRC is used to collect, process and bank patient samples for research purposes, both clinical and translational. The BRC provides a dedicated environment for the storage of samples that are under 24/7 temperature monitoring and personalized barcode labelling system for reliable sample management and tracking.

Sleep Research:
The Foundation was delighted to provide financial support for the Sleep Laboratory within the Respiratory Medicine Dept. of the hospital and will continue to be involved.

Regency Chair for ICU:
We have featured the fundraising of the family of the late Paddy Conway. We are delighted that one of the benefits of this was the acquisition of a Regency Chair (pictured) specifically designed for use in an Intensive Care Unit environment. The benefits of this type of chair are enormous, meeting the particular needs of patients and those who care for them in I.C.U.

Pouches for St. Anne’s:
While his mother was being treated in St. Vincent’s, Damien Redmond came up with the great idea of making pouches for the pumps used in patient care in the hospital. The hand-made pouches, which take hours to sew, are superb. They are loved and appreciated by patients and make a real difference in their care environment. Sadly, Damien’s mum passed away in October 2022 and is greatly missed by her family. The pouches are, hopefully, a lasting testament to her memory. Damien is pictured presenting some of the pouches to C.N.M. Naomi Leacy & Dr Claire Andrews, Consultant Haematologist.

Specialist Chairs for the Liver Unit;

Enabled by generous donations and fundraising we were able to purchase specialist chairs for St. Brigid’s Ward.  A Regency electric chair was purchased in early 2020. This chair will mean that higher dependency patients will be able to sit out; a significant contribution to their care and recovery. In September 2020, a specialist Perry chair was purchased to assist patients with mobility issues. These chairs are a major contribution to patient care and comfort in our Liver Unit and we are most grateful to the donors involved.


Tiernan Family Support for Patients:

​Dr. Eoin Tiernan heads Palliative Care in St Vincent’s and this role led to a great contribution to the barriers facing patients and their families in the Covid-19 environment.

Having experienced the challenges faced by patients requiring isolation in St. Vincent’s because of Covid 19, Dr. Tiernan shared the challenge with his family. The response was immediate. His wife, Sandra, and his children immediately sought support for supplying iPads and other communication devices, so that patients could communicate with their loved ones, often in the most difficult of circumstances.

The scale of the response was such that they were able to extend the support way beyond the hospital to residents in nursing homes and elsewhere. So far, they have received over 140 iPads. The need is very great and more support would be very welcome.


Televisions in Wards:

It may seem very ordinary but for patients, particularly those who have a longer stay in hospital, access to a working television is a major contribution to their comfort. Because of the help given to St Vincent’s

Foundation we have been able to install televisions in many wards at a total cost of c.€24,000 per ward. We will continue to support this and we thank those who enabled us to do so.

Equipment purchased for Cystic Fibrosis Patient care:

A grant from St Vincent’s Foundation enabled the C.F. Unit in the hospital to purchase a Vest Airway Clearance System. Physiotherapist, Ronan Buckley explains below the patient benefits from this equipment.

 “Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a multi-organ disease, mainly effecting the lungs and digestive system. It is caused by a defective gene that results in the production of thick and sticky mucus. People with C.F. perform physiotherapy based airway clearance breathing exercises to clear this mucus from the lungs on a daily basis. In varying circumstances, people may not be able to actively participate in this airway clearance in their usual way. In these scenarios, The Vest Airway Clearance System offers an alternative method. It is a garment, like a life jacket, which provides vibrations to the chest wall to dislodge mucus from the lungs. St. Vincent’s Foundation has provided funding to the C.F. Physiotherapy Team at The National Referral Centre for Adult Cystic Fibrosis here in St. Vincent’s University Hospital to purchase the Vest. The whole C.F. team feel this will assist them in their goal of providing the highest quality of care to those attending the centre.”

Donor support for C.F.:

As the National Centre for Adult Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland, we continue to enhance our capability in this area because of the generosity of donors that we highlight so often in these pages.  To improve efficiency and response to patients needs we invested in communications technology for the ward area.

For patient comfort, we purchased state-of-the-art Dyson Fans for St. Christopher’s C.F. Ward. These are particularly important as patients with C.F. often have to isolate in their own rooms, even in warm weather.

As part of ongoing research into C.F., we supported the unit in the acquisition of monitoring equipment to determine the effect of exercise on symptoms and well-being. This work goes on.

Similarly we grant aided a joint UCD/St. Vincent’s research study in Cystic Fibrosis under Prof. Ed McKone.  Prof. McKone outlines “We are very grateful to St. Vincent’s Foundation for supporting work we are doing in collaboration with C.F. Centres in Seattle and Iowa, looking at the impact of new C.F. drugs and how they are improving quality of life and need for hospitalisation in our C.F. patients

Frailty Car initiative:

St. Vincent’s Foundation is delighted to support the purchase, in partnership with St. Vincent’s University Hospital, of a specialist vehicle for delivery of patient care for the EDITH (Emergency Department in the Home) service.

The initiative, to shift care from Emergency Department (ED) to a team travelling to patients’ homes, follows a trial period from early 2020 and is now firmly established as an effective way of treating patients. The suitable cohort of patients include those suffering dehydration, falls, pain and orthostatic hypotension. The visiting team will typically be an ED doctor, Occupational Health staff and an Advanced Paramedic. Karen Donohoe, Business & Operations Manager, SVUH summarises the effectiveness of the project:

“…The Team see, review and treat an average of 10 patients/day and to date approx. 91% of this group have been able to have their complete episode of care provided in their home.  Of the 9% who required conveyance to Hospital some of these required attendance for diagnostics only and were able to go home immediately afterwards and did not require overnight admission. To date, almost 3,000 patients have benefited from this service, which has been a resounding success and a positive innovation for the patients, the staff and the hospital as a whole of which we are very proud…”

 Since then this initiative has been recognised nationally for an Ireland East Healthcare Innovation Award and a HSE Excellence Award. Congratulations to all the team involved.  This project wouldn’t have been possible without donor support.

 Scalp Cooling:

Owing to the success of the original installation there has been an increased demand from patients for access to the system while undergoing Chemotherapy. St Vincent’s Foundation funded the equipment at the start and is pleased to finance the expansion as well as cover the costs of elements that have to be replaced over time.

Investment in Intensive Care:

The Intensive Care Unit in St. Vincent’s capacity has been boosted by the appointment of additional staff for the area. This investment is optimised by sponsoring staff members to undertake the Post-Graduate qualification in Intensive Care. The cost for each participant is c.€8,000 and St. Vincent’s Foundation is proud to have financed much of the cost. The impact for future patients will be highly beneficial.

Additional iPad support for ICU:

Based on the success of an earlier investment on adapting iPads for patient use in the Intensive Care Unit, we were able to add to the access there. I.C.U. presents particular challenges for patient’s use of technology and the specialist engineering staff there were able to custom-design the units to great effect. We were delighted to provide the finance for this.

Urology Support:

We financed the purchase of an Ultrasound Probe. This is of primary benefit in treating patients with kidney cancer. It enhances the capacity of the Robotic Surgery system which St. Vincent’s Foundation enabled some years ago and which has been most successful.

 Endoscopy Discharge Lounge:

We were delighted to finance the refurbishment of the Endoscopy Discharge Lounge in the hospital. This has made a huge difference to the comfort and dignity of patients in this medical area. Previously the environment was unsuitable for what was required.

Stroke Unit equipment purchase: 

Through the generosity of a kind bequest to St. Vincent’s Stroke Unit, we were able to purchase a Cortrak machine for the Unit. The benefits of the Cortrak machine are summarised by Imelda Noone, Clinical Nurse Specialist in the Stroke Unit: “Each year approx 120 stroke patients are admitted to St. Vincent’s with a swallowing problem and require an NG tube for essential feeding. The Cortrak machine is a real time computerised system that ensures that the tube is correctly placed at all times avoiding the need for XRay. It allows earlier commencement of feeding. The impacts on safety and patient care are immense”

Covid-specific support:

We have mentioned earlier that the response to the hospital need for help in battling Covid-19 was phenomenal. Apart from the enabled purchases we have outlined above, we have also financed to a total cost of €643,000 the following:

¨ Full ventilator system including carts and Restrainers

¨ Line Stacks and pumps

¨ Patient monitors

¨ Nine Philips Monitors

¨ A Magna Pure ICU system

We spent a further €100,000 on:

¨ Additional specialist training for nurses in the Intensive Care Unit

¨ Covid-19 related research projects

These were enabled by the many, many donations and fundraising events for Covid-19 care and we were particularly fortunate to receive two very large donations where the donors asked for anonymity.


Wheelchairs for St Christopher’s Ward (C.F. Unit):

Having had family members in St. Christopher’s over lengthy periods, one family saw that the environment could be improved by having more wheelchairs available. Having raised funds they enabled us to buy three additional chairs.

Research into early diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer:

Like so many other medical conditions, the treatment of   Pancreatic Cancer is much more effective if recognised early. A current project sponsored by the fundraising of one family has financed this work.


Joint research with Trinity College into multi-generational Breast Cancer:

This is potentially a very exciting project in collaboration with The Smurfit Institute of Genetics in TCD. The participation of St. Vincent’s is financed by a number of donors including one major donor who has stipulated that they remain anonymous.

Reclining chairs for C.F. patient rooms:

Many family members spend long periods including overnights at the bedside of patients. The purchase of these reclining chairs greatly improves the comfort of users and we are grateful to those who made it possible.

Liver Research:

As St. Vincent’s is the National Liver Transplant Centre, the commitment to research is vital. The generosity of donors has allowed us to engage in comprehensive research activity year on year and this is ongoing.

Gill Family Room June 2014

Medical Education:

Each year we are able to support staff in developing their capacity to care for patients by attending at courses or specialised conferences. Sometime this is from specific grants from sponsors and in many cases from patient and family supporters.


Laboratory equipment for E.R.C.:

Donated money enabled purchase of vital equipment for the laboratories in the Education & Research Centre (E.R.C.) improving our research capabilities.


In summary, these are just examples of the many enhancements to patient care, research and education that have been made possible by the generosity of those hundreds of people who have donated or raised money for St. Vincent’s.

Since January 2014, we highlight, on our website under GRANTS, each project supported.