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The Rotunda Hospital named Maternity Hospital of the Year 2016

The Rotunda Hospital has been named Maternity Hospital of the Year 2016 at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards held on Friday, 11th March.

The accolade was awarded to the Rotunda for its exceptional patient care and comprehensive range of services to pregnant women and their babies and women with gynaecological conditions.

Through its award submission, the Rotunda demonstrated successful new initiatives and innovations within the Hospital. Also taken into consideration was the high standard of patient feedback, the introduction of new services and the continuous training for doctors and nursing staff.

According to the judges, the Rotunda demonstrated a best in class approach to maternity services. “The Rotunda Hospital demonstrated consistent and ongoing developments in the delivery and advancement of maternity patient care. Success stories were well-presented and laid out giving clear understanding of the questions asked.”

Speaking on the award, Professor Fergal Malone, Master of the Rotunda said the Hospital was delighted to be recognised for its continued commitment to patient care and best practice. “I am very proud of all the Rotunda staffs’ contribution to achieving this award, which exemplifies the hospital’s efforts to continuously review and improve all aspects of the care and services we provide. The projects that underpinned this award reflect the creativity, commitment and innovation of staff over a number of years. These projects include new initiatives, which our patients will continue to benefit from, for many years to come, and re-emphasize the role of the Rotunda as the Maternity Hospital of Choice in Ireland.”

Rotunda Obstetrician of the Year 2014

The Rotunda Hospital are proud to announce Dr. Sharon Cooley - MD MRCOG MRCPI, consultant in obstetrics & gynaecology, has been awarded Obstetrician of the Year for her work within the hospital, at the Baby Elegance Maternity & Infant Awards held in Dublin.

Hosted by TV3’s Sybil Mulcahy and Martin King, the awards recognise inspirational people and outstanding childcare service providers, as well as commending the very best products and services for parents and babies in Ireland.

“This award is wonderful recognition for Dr Cooley and her team at the Rotunda Hospital. This accolade highlights the magificent and groundbreaking work carried out by Dr. Cooley and her colleagues. The acknowledgement is well deserved and demonstrates the appreciation shown from both patients and healthcare professionals alike,” said Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of the Rotunda Hospital.

Dr. Cooley’s clinical areas of interest are obstetric ultrasound and prenatal diagnosis, early pregnancy loss, recurrent pregnancy loss, obstetric haematology care, maternal medicine and general obstetric care. She also runs a general gynaecology service.

Sharon is involved in ongoing research and audit in the Rotunda and has a number of major research projects currently underway in the area of maternal fetal medicine. She has also collaborated with international research.

Commenting on the awards Mr Gavan Costello, from Baby Elegance said: “The awards commend some of the most inspirational people out there who may otherwise go unnoticed."

Rotunda Blood Clot Assessment Tool Wins Award

A new electronic tool, developed in the Rotunda Hospital, which identifies pregnant women at risk of complications from blood clots, has won the HRB healthcare innovation award at the IMSTA Med-Tech awards.

'The tool stratifies patients into low, moderate and high risk categories and provides recommendations on treatment, medication doses and duration. The project achievements were only made possible by the dedication and hard work of our midwives in the Delivery Suite and Theatre who have completed in excess of 6500 risk assessments to date’, said Prof. Brian Cleary on behalf of the THROMBOCALC team: Dr. Sharon Cooley, Dr. Fionnuala Ni Ainle, Mary Deering, Ajita Raman, Dr. Jennifer Donnelly and Alan Holland.

The team began work on THROMBOCALC as part of the Rotunda/RCSI Leadership Development Programme in 2014.

Graham Love, Chief Executive at the Health Research Board added,

‘It wasn’t just the innovation that struck us about this application it was the ambition. The team identified a critical health-care need, and worked with colleagues on the ground to address that need. Having validated the product and its usability with frontline staff, the team have gone on to develop an intranet-based version of this tool and plan for the integration of “Thrombocalc” into the electronic health record that will be used for in excess of 75,000 deliveries nationally. It has great potential to make a real impact and save lives.

Prof Cleary is a graduate of one of the HRB’s postgraduate training programmes, and it is obvious from this work and award, that our investments are paying dividends and patients will benefit as a result. I would like to extend my sincere congratulations to everyone involved with the project.’

Healthcare Innovation Award Finalist

L:R - Dr Afif EL-Khuffash, Rotunda Hospital and Anne Doherty

Dr Afif EL-Khuffash, consultant neonatologist in the Rotunda Hospital and his colleague Professor Patrick McNamara from the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada were finalists at the recent Healthcare Innovation Awards, which were held in the Clyde Court Hotel on May 10th 2013. Dr EL-Khuffash and Professor McNamara developed a mobile device application (App) to act as a teaching aid for neonatologists who are receiving formal training in echocardiography.

Echocardiography in the neonatal setting refers to the use of ultrasound techniques to assess the function of the heart. The use of targeted neonatal echocardiography (TnECHO) for the evaluation of the cardiovascular wellbeing is becoming the standard of care across many NICUs. The purpose of TnECHO is to provide physiological information in real time, in order to support clinical decision making.

TnECHO is a new subspecialty in neonatology. During his fellowship training, and working as a consultant in Toronto, Dr EL-Khuffash became an integral part of the service at the Hospital for Sick Children. The service is now available in the Rotunda Hospital and is integrated with the excellent service provided by Dr Orla Franklin, consultant paediatric cardiologist.

The app is of unique design, simple to use and contains comprehensive image, text and video material designed to aid in the learning experience. This is the first educational app on a mobile platform that serves as a mobile teaching aid to neonatologist and neonatal trainees all over the world. This initiative is precedent setting in neonatal medicine and aligns with our leadership role in the field globally.

As mobile devices are portable, learners have firsthand access to information while they are practicing the skill of echocardiography. Prior to this there were limited resources available for individuals who were undergoing TnECHO training. The only resources available, outside of structured training courses, were educational DVDs that are very cost prohibitive and website based educational programs.

The app was released in May 2012 free of charge in the Apple App Store under the Sickkids name and has been very positively received. It was featured last year on CBC news and has received a very positive response from neonatologists across the world with over 2,500 downloads in fifty countries worldwide over a 12 month period.Add Content...

Rotunda staff being presented Maternity Hospital of the Year Award

L -R Ms Pauline Treanor, Ms Marian Brennan, Ms Aisling Gannon, Ms Sheila Breen, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith, Dr Adrienne Foran, Ms Mary Whelan, Ms Ajita Raman, Ms Patricia Williamson, Ms Aisling Bhreathnach, Ms Laura Lavery, Mr Brian Dobson

Rotunda wins Maternity Hospital of the Year Award 2013

The Rotunda Hospital was awarded Maternity Hospital of the Year at the Irish Healthcare Centre Awards held on Friday 8 March, involving healthcare institutions from across the country.

The judges noted the finalists in this category were determined to exceed the expectations of the patient throughout their pregnancy and immediate aftercare. Despite constraints in the sector, the finalists in this category have supplied detailed evidence in their applications - displaying their ability to maintain their standards and perform to the highest level in such tough economic circumstances.

The Rotunda based its submission on prioritised initiatives deemed essential to the provision of a comprehensive range of services to meet the needs of pregnant women and their babies as well as women with gynaecological conditions and women and men suffering infertility. As the oldest working maternity hospital in the world, it has provided care to generations of women, with the award jury noting the commitment of the Rotunda’s staff to the provision of high quality, safe and reliable care.

The awarding panel judged the hospital across a number of initiatives that The Rotunda has undertaken over the last couple of years, including:

  • Individual, specialised care for patients with pre-existing or pregnancy complications,
  • The Dublin North East Neonatal Network involving Cavan and Drogheda hospitals,
  • The hospital’s international accreditation as a Baby Friendly hospital,
  • Production of a detailed maternity information pack in 5 different languages
  • Patient experience survey results
  • Productive Ward Initiative
  • Rotunda Hospital Obstetric Emergency Training (RHOET) Programme
  • Laboratory accreditation
  • Compliance with HSE financial and headcount targets

Responding to the award, Sam Coulter-Smith, Master of The Rotunda, said the hospital was delighted with the recognition saying that it was a real measure of good performance across the hospital and demonstrated how progressive The Rotunda and its staff were to providing high quality maternity healthcare.

This is a really significant affirmation that the hard work and effort that each and every member of staff puts in really does make a difference. They should all be extremely proud of this fantastic achievement, it’s a great team effort,” said Dr Coulter-Smith.

Group of people receiving baby friendly national award
L to R – Ms Maura Lavery, Ms Aisling Bhreathnach, Ms Margaret Philbin, Ms Siobhan Hourigan, Ms Pauline Treanor, Dr Sam Coulter-Smith and Dr Genevieve Becker

National Baby Friendly Hospital Award

The Rotunda was re-designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital after an inspection in 2012. 

The award was presented by Dr Genevieve Becker, National Co-ordinator for the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative in the presence of Ms Nikita White from UNICEF and Ms Siobhan Hourigan, National Breastfeeding Co-ordinator with the HSE.

The Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI) is a global project of the World Health Organisation and UNICEF

It recognises that implementing best practice in maternity services is crucial to the success of programmes promoting breastfeeding. 

The successful implementation of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding ensures that the hospital supports and promotes informed parental choice through the provision of appropriate, accurate, unbiased information and discussion with women and their partners.

The Rotunda was the first maternity hospital in Dublin to get the National Baby Friendly Hospital Award in 2006. 

It has maintained baby friendly status since then as it worked towards re-designation, which lasts for five years.

Ms Margaret Philbin, Director of Midwifery and Nursing said: 

“Our philosophy is to provide the best standard of care for those who use our services and the achievement of the baby friendly hospital award is the gold standard for us and for our mothers and babies. It truly was a multidisciplinary effort and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for their efforts. Despite the high activity levels and challenges we face, this is another example of the Rotunda Hospital’s ongoing commitment to quality initiatives and the promotion of health for mothers and babies.”

best hospital project award trophy

Neonatal Unit Wins Best Hospital Project Award


The Neonatal Unit won the Best Hospital Project Award at the Irish Medical Times Healthcare Awards ceremony held in the Shelbourne Hotel on November 10th 2011. The project was entitled ‘The Neonatal Unit aims for Zero Positive Bloodstreams Infections’.

Staff in the Neonatal Unit with the support of the Neonatal Infection Prevention and Control Group had reduced the incidence of healthcare associated blood infections from an average of eight or nine per month to zero in four of the previous six months.

Healthcare associated bloodstream infections in the Neonatal Unit are associated with increased mortality, morbidity, length of hospital stay and increased costs. The Rotunda Hospital’s neonatal team showed that major improvements can be achieved and maintained by implementing additional staff education and critically reviewing existing work practices. These improvements can significantly improve the outcome for sick newborn babies. Moreover, cost savings can help to ensure the efficient use of scarce resources.

On receipt of the award, Ms Edna Woolhead, Advanced Nurse Practitioner (Neonatology) and Project Lead said: “This is an enormous achievement and one which required continuous hard work and commitment from the multidisciplinary team. I wish to acknowledge the dedication and perseverance of the Neonatal Unit staff and thank them for their continued support”.

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