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Knocknacarra primary care centre will include a new hub for older people


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Knocknacarra primary care centre will include a new hub for older people Knocknacarra primary care centre will include a new hub for older people

A new primary care centre to serve the population of Knocknacarra and Salthill has been granted planning permission by Galway City Council.

The health facility will be located in a building formerly occupied by the Aviva insurance company in Knocknacarra, along with a new care hub that will concentrate on meeting the needs of older people and those with chronic diseases.

“The facility will significantly ease the current pressure on both of the University Hospitals (UHG and Merlin Park) in Galway City. This will help ensure patients will be seen in a timely manner and receive the best quality service,” the Health Services Executive has said.

The refurbished facility, over 2,500-plus square metres, will include 56 rooms dedicated to Primary Care, six for diagnostics, 32 for care of chronic disease and 12 rooms described as ‘older persons area’, along with 40 rooms for building support and services. It is understood that 105 staff will be based there.

The three-storey building is located in the Galway West Business Park in Knocknacarra, north of the Gateway Shopping Centre (home to Dunnes Stores, Harvey Norman etc), less than half a kilometre from the Western Distributor Road. It was bought by the HSE for €11.85 million.

The HSE applied last November for permission to convert one of the two blocks in the business park from specialist office use to use as an Enhanced Community Care Hub (ECC) and Primary Care Centre (PCC) for Knocknacarra and Salthill.

In its application, the HSE pointed out that the health hub would be served by a new bus route under the Galway BusConnects public transport network transformation, connecting it to UHG every 10 minutes.

“This connectivity will represent a significant improvement for the area, as the proposed ECC hub will be connected to UHG, with staff travelling between the two campuses as the ECC Hub will have clinical governance provided by the consultants and staff of UHG.”

The granting of planning permission by Galway City Council represents the beginning of the final chapter in a long-running saga surrounding attempts to establish a primary care centre for the western part of the city.

“Galway City and its environs has proved very challenging in the provision of community health facilities. This is evident in that since 2006, HSE have been seeking to develop Primary Canre Centres on the west of Galway City without success, as yet,” the HSE said in a report for planners.

Pictured: The former Aviva building in Knocknacarra, which is to be the location for a Primary Care Centre and an Enhanced Community Care Hub.

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