THE location of the greenfield site for construction of a new elderly care facility set to replace the existing St Joseph’s Hospital has been announced.
The proposed new €25 million, 100-bed, community nursing unit will be based on five acres of Diocesan lands located near the Turnpike in Ennis.
The development has been welcomed by Clare-based TD, Minister of State Pat Breen TD (FG) who reiterated the importance of ensuring that elderly care services remain at the heart of the county town.
“I am delighted that a site has been secured at this central location in Ennis for the construction of the new €25 million St Joseph’s Hospital,” he said.
“The sale of the 5.09 acres of land remains subject to planning permission for the development of the 100-bed community nursing unit, but I believe the site provides the best option following the appraisal of a number of sites in the Ennis environs by the HSE.
“The new state-of-the-art St Joseph’s Hospital building has been prioritised in the HSE Capital Plan 2019, and I believe the chosen location for the greenfield-build demonstrates the priority that elderly care deserves.
“As well as being a state-of-the-art facility, it is equally important that this unit made up of 88-single rooms, four twin-rooms and four palliative care facilities is centrally located and within walking distance of all community services and the town centre.
“This site close to the Turnpike allows for that,” added the Clare-based minister of state.
In January 2017 the HIQA placed a restriction on new admissions to St Joseph’s Hospital, stating that the HSE failed to address ongoing issues and ensure that a sustainable plan was put in place to improve the quality of life for residents.
Since then, numerous initiatives have taken place to improve facilities for residents despite long-term concerns with regards to limited facilities at the Lifford-based centre.
“The provision of this new elderly care unit which is designed to meet all HIQA’s standards will also remove any prevailing concerns regarding the registration of the existing St Joseph’s facility,” said Minister Breen.
“This new building will provide private and comfortable surrounding for those who require the services of St Joseph’s Hospital, while also providing a more pleasant and modern working environment for a valued staff who are currently doing great work in a more restricted environment”.