Supporting Local News

HSE draws up plan for Clifden hospital and nursing home

The HSE has submitted a planning application for a new 40-bed Community Nursing Facility to replace Clifden Hospital and St Anne’s Nursing Home.

The plans involve the demolition of store buildings at St Anne’s and the construction of an extension, as well as the refurbishment of the entire building.

There will be a new two-storey courtyard building with 38 single en suite bedrooms and one twin en suite room, along with support accommodation, sitting and activity rooms, day spaces, sanitary accommodation, pantries and stores.

The beds will be divided into:

  • 20-bed residential
  • 10-bed dementia unit
  • 10-bed short stay ward

A two-storey ‘support wing’ will contain a production kitchen, staff changing facilities and family accommodation.

The existing Day Hospital is a Protected Structure and will be reconfigured to provide a Day Hospital with day room, reflection room, hairdressing and physiotherapy areas, clinic rooms and resident support areas.

Outside, there will be parking for 37 cars and 38 bicycles.

A feasibility study carried out on behalf of the HSE found that it would not be possible to achieve compliance with HIQA standards (the Health Information and Quality Authority) by re-using the existing building.

“It is inappropriately designed and constructed for conversion to a primarily single-bedded layout. The structure is inflexible and the general arrangement of the building does not lend itself to adaptation. The only means of achieving compliance with the standards is by construction of a new-build unit on the site.

“It will modernise the Day Hospital and improve access to it for the local community. It will also replace the existing bed spaces, most of which are located in multi-bed rooms sharing bathrooms, with mostly single-bed rooms equipped with ensuite bathrooms. It will increase capacity for residential care on the site from 22 to 40 bed spaces, including a dedicated dementia household and short stay step down care beds.

“The proposed development will include measures to improve access to the site and the new facilities.

“They will consist of better sightlines at the main entrance to the site from the N59, a new road network, a new drop-off point for the minibus connecting the Day Hospital with the local community, new accessible car parking spaces, a reconfigured car park, new bicycle parking, level thresholds, a fully accessible building with two large lifts, and defined access routes for deliveries, waste management, firefighting, external cleaning and maintenance, including glass replacement,” the application reads.

Members of the public can make submissions on the application to the County Council until February 14 and while a decision is due in March, the local authority is expected at that point to seek further information on the plans.

Meanwhile, in a statement this week, Deputy Éamon Ó Cuiv and Cllr Gerry King welcomed the submission of the plans to the Council.

“Both St Annes and Clifden Hospital have had their capacity reduced significantly in recent years due to new regulations in relation to nursing homes and this new unit will provide Connemara, and particularly West Connemara with a considerable boost in terms of services.

“It will also be a major advantage having all the nursing home facilities on one site rather than spread, as at present, over two sites,” the statement read.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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