A new six-bed day care unit for the treatment of patients with cystic fibrosis has opened at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin.

The 232sq.m unit has been built at a cost of €3.5m, with funding provided by the Health Service Executive.

The building includes consultation and therapy rooms, with air filtration units. These allow for 12 air changes an hour to help reduce potential infection, which is particularly important for people with CF.

The service has been operating for some weeks and in particular will offer antibiotic treatment for CF patients, reducing the need for admission.

There will be priority access to a number of en-suite inpatient rooms in the hospital if required.

The hospital says that admission as an inpatient via the Emergency Department will now be a rare occurrence for its CF patients.

Among the other services provided are pulmonary function assessment, physiotherapy, dietetics and psychology. Attendance at the unit is by appointment only.

Meanwhile, the construction programme for a new CF facility at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin is under way.

The long delayed unit is due to be completed by March 2012.

Around 1,100 people have cystic fibrosis, which is the most common life-threatening inherited disease, primarily affecting the lungs and the digestive system.