The eagerly anticipated re-development of the Sheil Hospital in Ballyshannon moved a step forward this week with the publication of the planning notice for the €19m project.
Former Ballyshannon Mayor John Meehan told the Democrat, “It's a positive story for health care provision in Ballyshannon and south Donegal. The new 80-bed unit will provide a state of the art facility in the town. I look forward to its completion and opening.”
The Health Services Executive and The Sheil Hospital Trust are working together to deliver this new centre, which will see the merging of the Rock Nursing Home and the Sheil Hospital.
It's the second phase of an even bigger project, with the the opening last October of the HSE's €8m new health care campus the site the former St Catherine's Convent. That facility brings together general practitioners, public health nurses, and support services such as physiotherapy, dental, mental health and more, as well as housing several HSE departments.
The new 80 bed centre at the Sheil site will will consist of 66 single bedrooms and seven twin bedrooms in a combination of long stay, short stay and dementia sards. The project also includes the upgrade of the existing Sheil building to accommodate a Day hospital amongst other ancillary services.
Delighted with project
John Hayes Chief Officer for Community Health Care Organisation Area 1, welcomed this week's progress. He told the Democrat, “I am delighted that this project has progressed to the planning stage”.
Mr Hayes noted, however, that the project will take “some years” to complete and said services at the Rock and Sheil will “continue as normal” for the time being.
Michael Martin HSE Estates explained that once planning permission is obtained, approval will be sought to proceed to detailed design, preparation of tender documents and construction. Fr O’Fearrai of the Sheil Hospital Trust also welcomed the progress.
He also said yesterday that the trust will “continue to work closely in partnership with the HSE to ensure that this new 80 bed unit will maintain and enhance patient services into the future.”