Ballinamore Hospital to start in April

The expected start date for Ballinamore’s new primary care centre has now been pushed back until April 1 the Leitrim Observer has learned.

The expected start date for Ballinamore’s new primary care centre has now been pushed back until April 1 the Leitrim Observer has learned.

Cllr Sean McGowan put forward a question on the centre on behalf of Cllr Caillian Ellis at the recent meeting of the HSE West Health Forum.

The query sought an update on the centre including clarification on the expected start and completion dates.

In response Damian McCallion, HSE Area Manager for Sligo/Leitrim/West Cavan, said “While we hoped to conclude negotiations with the preferred builder by early February, these are still ongoing. The project will take an estimated 12 months construction and two months commissioning.”

Cllr Ellis told the Leitrim Observer that he believed the project would commence construction in early April.

“This project has been long awaited. I understand there has been a minor delay to the start date but this should be resolved in the coming weeks,” he said.

The Fianna Fail Councillor added that he understood the HSE were still looking for an alternative company to run the hospital on completion.

“The money has been ring fenced for the project so we know that it will go ahead but I understand that the HSE would rather some other group ran the hospital on their behalf rather than themselves.

“I believe they are still looking into this. If they can’t find someone else to run it they have indicated they will be running the centre themselves.”

Cllr Gordon Hughes, who has also raised the issue of the hospital on a number of occasions said that he understood the delay in starting construction was down to a minor technicality.

“This project will make a huge difference to the people of the region and it is wonderful to see it and the new school, become a reality,” he said.

When complete the development will provide a long term nursing care unit and also a primary care centre with visiting Allied Healthcare Professionals such as Public Health Nursing, Physiotherapy Services, Occupational Therapy Services, Dietetics, Speech and Language Therapy and multidisciplinary bookable rooms for other health professionals.