1st May 2018: Tallaght University Hospital, South Dublin County Council and DCU MedEx have come together to bring medically supervised exercise classes and educational workshops to south Dublin for the first time. MedEx has been operating in DCU for the past 10 years and during that time it has grown to become one of the largest centres of its kind in Europe, hosting over 700 participant visits every week. MedEx Tallaght will begin operating in Tallaght Leisure Centre from 1st May onwards.
The community based chronic illness rehabilitation programme will offer structured and supervised exercise classes to enable people with a diverse range of illnesses to exercise in a safe environment in order to maintain or gain fitness during or after treatment. Patients with chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes, cancer, peripheral vascular disease, neurodegenerative conditions can avail of the programme and new programmes will commence this year for those with chronic pain, heart failure, pulmonary hypertension, cystic fibrosis and for renal failure patients on dialysis.
There will be a specific focus on creating programmes for patients with mental illness and memory complaints in Tallaght as a recently completed three year HSE funded evaluation of MedEx demonstrated the positive effects exercise had on patients’ psychological wellness and cognition. The evaluation also highlighted the positive impact the programme has on strength, aerobic capacity, body composition, inflammatory markers, fasting glucose, blood pressure and falls risks.
Speaking about the MedEx rehabilitation programme, Professor Sean Kennelly, Consultant physician in Geriatric and Stroke Medicine in Tallaght University Hospital said, “MedEx represents a form of social prescribing, where GP’s, consultants nurses and other primary care professionals can refer people to local, non-clinical services that will contribute to their overall happiness and recovery. Structured and supervised exercise classes have been proven to promote psychological wellness and improve cognition. The MedEx programme will be a really positive service for the entire south Dublin community and we are looking forward to working with patients who are suffering from chronic and serious illnesses such as memory complaints and mental illness who will particularly benefit.”
Billy Coman, Director of Housing, Social and Community Development South Dublin County Council said, “We are delighted to have teamed up with Tallaght University Hospital to bring MedEx to Tallaght Leisure Centre. MedEx has been hugely successful in DCU and has contributed to the positive recovery and management of thousands of patients with serious illnesses in north Dublin and I have no doubt it will have a similar impact on the wider south Dublin community in Tallaght.”
Commenting on the commencement of MedEx in Tallaght, Dr. Noel McCaffrey, MedEx DCU said, “MedEx has been extremely successful in DCU and is a hugely enjoyable programme for participants and staff alike. Chronic or serious illness can affect all aspects of your life but we now know that disability and impaired quality of life is often down to deconditioning and inactivity. It is fantastic that Tallaght University Hospital and South Dublin County Council have come on board to bring MedEx to Tallaght Leisure Centre and I know it will be really beneficial to the wider south Dublin community.”
Local GP and former Leinster Rugby player Dr. Emmett Byrne said, “MedEx will be a huge benefit to patients in the local community. Battling a chronic or serious illness can be very isolating so it is great that MedEx will bring people together for structured and supervised activity that will not only benefit them physically but also mentally.”
The programme with Tallaght University Hospital and South Dublin County Council will begin on 1st May in Tallaght Leisure Centre. Those interested in participating will require a referral from their GP or hospital consultant. MedEx is a not for profit project aimed at being self-sustaining based on a modest payment of €5 per visit. Medics interested in referring patients to MedEx Tallaght are required to send a letter addressed to Dr McCaffrey at Tallaght Leisure Centre. This letter can be their discharge letter or any other form of letter providing the necessary information such as primary ailment, relevant medical conditions, DOB and contact information.
About Tallaght University Hospital
Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) is one of Ireland’s largest acute teaching hospitals, providing child-health, adult, psychiatric and age-related healthcare on one site. The hospital has 495 adult beds and 67 paediatric bed with over 3,000 people on staff. The Hospital is a provider of local, regional and national specialities. It is also a national urology centre, the second largest provider of dialysis services in the country and a regional orthopaedic trauma centre.
TUH is one of the two main teaching hospitals of Trinity College Dublin - specialising in the training and professional development of staff in areas such as nursing, health and social care professionals, emergency medicine and surgery, amongst many others. TUH is uniquely part of both the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group and the Children’s Hospital Group which serves a population of over 1.2 million across seven counties.
A new satellite centre is to be built at TUH as part of the National Children’s Hospital project as a key element of an integrated clinical network for paediatric services nationally.
The Hospital’s Emergency Departments catered for 50,286 Adult Attendances and 32,886 Paediatric Attendances in 2017. A further 291,483 patients were treated through the Hospital’s adult and paediatric outpatient clinics in 2017. The Hospital’s operations are supported by 200 general practitioners in surrounding communities.