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Connacht Tribune

Clifden set for 50-bed district hospital

Stephen Corrigan

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Plans for a new 50-bed district hospital and nursing home unit in Clifden have taken a major step forward this week, with the announcement that a design team has been appointed to the project.

The new unit, which will replace the existing district hospital and St Anne’s Community Nursing home, is to be constructed on the existing site of both facilities.

Welcoming the move, Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív (FF) said entering the design stage was significant as it meant the development would now progress through the process leading to planning permission and construction.

The TD for Galway West said the new unit was much needed, citing a HIQA Report that said the existing facilities were unable to meet the demands of patients.

According to Deputy Ó Cuív, the new unit will include specialised care beds that will be inter-changeable and available for use as required.

“I have been informed that a design team is currently progressing with drafting the design of the new unit.

“The site will include a ten-bed dementia specific unit as part of the 50-bed compliment in addition to the current respite bed compliment of two beds. These two beds will be inter-changeable between respite care and palliative care beds. All of the rooms in the new unit will be single-bedded ensuite rooms,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

He believed this new facility would vastly improve the provision of healthcare for the elderly in the Clifden area – and would reduce the need for admissions to UHG, the nearest acute hospital.

“It has been confirmed to me that in order to facilitate clients remaining in their own home for as long as possible, in the Clifden catchment area and to avoid admission to the acute hospital in Galway, the administration of intravenous antibiotics will be part of the nursing provision in the new unit.

“In addition to the facilities, I am also advised that day care will be provided in the new unit,” said Deputy Ó Cuív.

The Cornamona-based TD said that while this was welcome news, it would be a while yet before shovels enter the ground, as finalised designs and securing planning permission will take time – even though he didn’t anticipate any major planning problems.

However, he said the single-biggest threat to all capital projects nationwide was the massive overspend on the new National Children’s Hospital in Dublin.

“We must ensure that there are no negative consequences for the progress of this project due to the overspend at the National Children’s Hospital.

“It would be important or the Minister for Health to ensure that no such delays occur with projects needed urgently outside of Dublin because of this over-run,” said the former Minister.

“We’ll be making sure that the West doesn’t suffer because of they’ve run into problems in Dublin,” added Deputy Ó Cuív.

Connacht Tribune

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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