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50-bed hospital extension

THE Health Service Executive is to press ahead with plans for a 50-bed extension to the Mid-Western Regional Hospital, Ennis after the town council approved planning for the facility.
The two-storey state-of-the-art extension will provide two new wards to the south-western side of the existing hospital structure, with ensuite rooms replacing the multi-bed wards in the existing building.
It will contain 25 single-bed rooms on each floor, associated treatment rooms and staff facilities, connecting into the existing hospital at ground and first-floor level and has a proposed floorspace of 2680sqm.
Deputy Timmy Dooley described the planning approval as a major boost for Ennis hospital and said it is expected that work on the refurbishment would start in two months’ time.
Although the existing hospital is to remain unchanged, in time, the building, a protected structure, will be altered so as to provide for medical services to serve the bed spaces.
Eighteen conditions were attached to planning including the payment of €50,384 to the town council in respect of public infrastructure and facilities benefiting the development.
The application was filed by Coady Partnership Architects on behalf of the HSE and they outlined that the extension lay to one side of the protected hospital building and the design of the new building ensured the hospital building and nurses’ house would remain dominant in the ensemble.
Minor alterations to the layout of the floors adjoining the new wards are proposed to successfully link the two plans.
Representatives of Coady Partnership Architects had several consultations with the planning authority and in a written report explained that the new building is intended to upgrade the facilities in Enns in line with the current policy for health services on the site.
“A review of acute services in the Mid-West recommended centralising these in the Mid-Western Regional Hospital in Limerick and that the hospital should become a centre of excellence for primary care, community care and the investigation and management of most routine conditions for County Clare.
“In line with this review, the HSE is developing Ennis hospital to provide timely and local access to non-acute patients’ care including diagnostics, day surgery, outpatients and rehabilitation as part of an integrated regional hospital network. The hospital will upgrade its facilities to provide the level and quality of service that will meet the strategic objectives of the National Health Strategy.
“The current project will provide modern wards and isolation rooms to match this strategy and the vacated space in the existing building will be gradually refurbished to provide the parallel medical services,” the report states.
It further outlines that Ennis hospital will offer general medicine including cardiovascular support, day surgery, plastic surgery, geriatric medicine, acute adult emergency and minor injuries care.
Outpatient services will include medicine, surgery, orthopaedics, maxillo-facial, antenatal and gynaecology, ear, nose and throat, urology, paediatric and opthalmology. The treatment, diagnostic and general support services on the campus will include radiology, laboratory, physiotherapy, pharmacy, administration, education and chaplaincy.

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