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Cllr Paul Murphy, Deputy Joe Carey and Minister of State Patrick O'Donovan in Clareabbey, December 2020

Plans for €25m community hospital soon to be lodged

A PLANNING application for a €25 million community hospital in Ennis to replace long stay and short stay beds at St Joseph’s is set to be lodged by the end of this year, it has been confirmed.
If given the green light, the 100-bed community nursing unit will be situated on grounds adjacent to St Flannan’s College.
A design team has been put in place and have began an outline design phase of the project.
The unit will include 88 single and four twin rooms, and four palliative care facilities. The project has already been included for funding in the HSE Capital Programme 2021.
Details of the proposal were confirmed in response to a Dáil question put by Clare Fine Gael TD Joe Carey to Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.
In early 2016, a Capital Programme for Older Persons Residential Centres was developed and agreed with the Department of Health in response to the introduction of HIQA’s, National Residential Care Standards for Older People.
“To progress the Community Nursing Unit project in Ennis, the HSE has secured lands comprising 5.09 acres at Turnpike junction, on grounds adjacent to St Flannan’s College, for the new 100-bed Community Nursing Unit,” Minister Donnelly told Deputy Carey in Dáil Éireann last week.
“The contract for the purchase of the lands, which is subject to obtaining planning permission, will see a new 100-bed HIQA compliant Community Nursing Unit for long stay and short stay residents developed on this green field site within walking distance of all community services and the town centre.
“The unit will include 88-single and four twin rooms, and four palliative care facilities,” Minister Donnelly added.
“The project has been included for funding in the HSE Capital Programme 2021 and a design team have been procured.
“The design team have commenced on the outline design phase of the project. It is planned to submit a planning application for this development by year end.
“It is important to recognise that the delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code, which can impact on the timeline for delivery,” he added.
Deputy Carey said that news of a definite timeline is welcome.
“It is important to have got clarity with regards to when planning will be lodged.
“The fact that funding has been allocated is important but I am delighted to hear that the design team have been appointed and are working on this important project,” the Clare Fine Gael TD said.
A spokesperson for the HSE outlined that the new 100-bed Community Nursing Unit will be a replacement of the existing long-stay and short-stay beds at St Joseph’s Hospital. 
“Services will continue on the St Joseph’s site, as has always been the intention,” the spokesperson added.

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