Seanad debates

Thursday, 27 January 2022

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Healthcare Infrastructure Provision

10:30 am

Photo of Frank FeighanFrank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim, Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Senator for raising this issue and giving me the opportunity to outline to the House the position on capital commitments at Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe and Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon.

Portiuncula Hospital is an acute general and maternity hospital that delivers a patient-centred, quality-driven and quality-focused service and provides a wide range of diagnostic and support services. The hospital's catchment area includes patients residing in east Galway, Roscommon, the midlands and the mid-west.

The construction of the 50-bed ward block is an important project for the hospital and will deliver replacement accommodation in line with current standards. A contractor was appointed for the enabling works contract and work commenced on 11 August 2020. The enabling works project was completed in May 2021 and dealt with a number of legacy issues as well as preparing for the 50-bed project. As part of these works, the entire electrical and natural gas network has been upgraded and the medical gas infrastructure has been modified and upgraded. Tender documents for the 50-bed ward block project have been issued to the shortlisted contractors and were returned in December 2021. It is intended that the contract for this development will be awarded in quarter 1 of 2022.

The HSE's capital programme provides for the construction of a 50-bed long-stay facility at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon. The Government's overarching policy objective is to support our older population in living in dignity and independence in their own homes and communities for as long as possible. The standard of care delivered to residents in public units is generally very high, but we recognise that many of our community hospitals are housed in buildings that are less than ideal in the modern context. Without them, though, many older people would not have access to the care they need. It is important, therefore, that we upgrade our public bed stock. This is the aim of the capital investment programme for community nursing units.

The Sacred Heart Hospital is currently a 95-bed older persons care home and rehabilitation hospital situated in Roscommon town. It provides 80 older persons' long-term care beds and 15 short-term palliative, rehabilitation and respite care beds. The development of the new 50-bed long-stay facility is at detailed design stage. The project's design process has commenced and will take approximately 12 months to complete, including securing planning permission for the development. At that point, the project can move to the next stage of the public spending code. All capital development proposals must progress through a number of approval stages in line with the public spending code. The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.


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