No GP service for new primary care centre in Knocknacarra


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

No GP service for new primary care centre in Knocknacarra No GP service for new primary care centre in Knocknacarra

The HSE has confirmed its proposed new primary care centre in Knocknacarra will not include GP services – despite huge demand for family doctors in the area.

Councillor John Connolly (FF) said it was “disappointing” the proposed new building, which is currently a live planning application, did not include GP services.

Cllr Connolly said Knocknacarra needed more GPs, and it would have been better if a GP practice was included in the plans for the former Aviva Insurance building at Galway West Business Park.

John Fitzmaurice, Chief Officer, Community Healthcare West, said there was “no capacity” for a GP surgery in the building, despite the HSE strongly supporting the co-location of GP practices within primary care centres.

Mr Fitzmaurice, who was questioned by Cllr Connolly at the HSE West Regional Health Forum, said he was “confident” the building will get planning permission, “once issues are addressed”.

The issues relate to a request for Further Information from Galway City Council, to review, “any glint and glare and impact on aviation receptors such as the hospital helipad and aircraft operators, arising from the development”.

Planners also sought a report on the impact of the proposed pedestrian access to the facility “which would impact upon the proposed Bóthar Stiofáin cycle network”.

The planners noted that the road safety audit included as part of the application included dropped kerbs and tactile paving at Bóthar Stiofáin, which would have an impact on the cycle network.

Mr Fitzmaurice confirmed to Cllr Connolly that the HSE has had “positive engagement” with the Council about its request for Further Information.

The HSE met with the Council and will issue a response “imminently”.

“Subject to planning decision it is anticipated the building will be operational at the latter end of 2025,” he said.

Known as an ‘Enhanced Community Care Hub’ it will include clinical treatment rooms for Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language, Dietetics, Podiatry, Public Health Nursing and Social work.

It will also provide clinical treatment rooms for patients under the care of the Cardiology, Respiratory and Endocrinology teams, as well as diagnostics suites to include X-ray, spirometry and cardiac diagnostics and support accommodation including multi-disciplinary meeting rooms and ancillary functions.

The HSE paid €11.85m for the property and an estimated fit-out cost for the facility was set at €14.85 million in February 2022. This is expected to rise due to building cost inflation.

It is understood that 105 staff will be based at the enhanced community care hub, should permission be granted.

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