Written answers

Thursday, 31 March 2022

Department of Health

Hospital Facilities

Photo of Catherine ConnollyCatherine Connolly (Galway West, Independent)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

20. To ask the Minister for Health further to Parliamentary Question No. 129 of 15 February 2022 and with regard to the new emergency department and women and children's unit at University Hospital Galway, if his Department has received the preliminary business case from the HSE to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16773/22]

Photo of Stephen DonnellyStephen Donnelly (Wicklow, Fianna Fail)
Link to this: Individually | In context | Oireachtas source

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the very difficult and unacceptable conditions for patients, families and healthcare staff working in University Hospital Galway.

I visited Galway just a few weeks ago and it is clear that action is required there on multiple fronts- the ED, beds, diagnostics and staffing there.

I am pleased to say that an interim emergency department, including additional resuscitation spaces, support accommodation and improved infection prevention and control measures, is currently under construction using a rapid build solution. The critical services are expected to be completed by end of June 2022.

Further reconfiguration works to the existing ED will also be completed as part of the project. It is expected that these new facilities would be available for patients and staff during August.

While improving service delivery capability, the interim ED and associated works will also serve as enabling works for this larger project; freeing up the site required for a proposed new block.

I am aware that this project has been discussed for the last 10 years and I spoke with the team there about this on my visit. I share their frustrations.

However, one of the reasons that the project is still in development phase is that there has been a very significant increase in the scale and ambition for the solution on the Galway site.

Originally the proposal was for a new multistorey ED block, but now the proposals, driven by local requirements and the need to effectively build on a constricted site, means that we will shortly be receiving proposals costed in the hundreds of millions.

As the Deputy will be aware, all projects proposed in excess of €100m must be subject to the full scrutiny of the Public Spending Code process.

The HSE are currently drafting a Strategic Assessment Report to ensure full compliance with PSC requirements. I expect this to be submitted to my Department by early May.

If granted approval-in principle, the preliminary business case can then be updated by the HSE and be brought forward for review to progress proposals.


No comments

Log in or join to post a public comment.