10/08/2011

Omagh Hospital's 'First Phase' Approved

This week, the Stormont Health Minister Edwin Poots has announced £75m for the first phase of a new local hospital in Co Tyrone.

However, it is not known if the 'business case' for a second Omagh facility will be send soon to the NI Department of Finance and Personnel for approval, as there remains doubts over progress for the next stage.

Construction is expected to start on a multi-million pound hospital in Omagh in 2013, and while this part of the building is expected to be completed in 2016, a business case is only now being developed for a less certain second phase of the building.

This is tipped to include day case surgery, palliative care, GP out-of-hours and mental health services.

In making this week's announcement during a visit to Omagh the DUP Minister, Mr Poots said (pictured): "I can confirm that I have made £75million available for the first phase of the new hospital in Omagh.

"This new facility will include a Health and Care centre with GP accommodation and will have intermediate care beds, a renal dialysis unit and a new Central Sterile Supplies Department.

"This £75m is in addition to the £25m already invested in the project to acquire the land and to undertake some of the enabling works," he said.

"The progression of this scheme is important for the people of Omagh and will assist in the delivery of key services in a community setting and in a safe environment for both patients and staff."
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It is hoped that further enabling works will begin immediately with construction starting in 2013. This phase of the new hospital should be finished during 2016.

Mr Poots went on to say: "It is great news for the local community that the first phase of this new facility is well and truly on the way.

"It is particularly pleasing to progress enhanced local hospital and the Health and Care centre element of this project which will provide first class accommodation for local delivery of services."

Mr Poots met staff and patients at Tyrone County Hospital before visiting the site and viewing the plans for the new facility.

Gerard Guckian, Western Health and Social Care Trust Chairman, said he was delighted that work would be progressing on the new hospital in Omagh.

Mr Guckian said: "The Health Minister's commitment for the first phase of the Enhanced Local Hospital for Omagh is excellent news and very much welcomed.

"The Western Trust has been involved in extensive planning for this project over a significant period of time and we have been eager to move forward with it.

"I am delighted that the Minister's commitment now will allow construction of these modern and much needed health care facilities in the Enhanced Local Hospital for Omagh to commence."

On the proposed phase two development, the West Tyrone Sinn Fein MLA Barry McElduff said: "I would like to see further clarification around the completion of the £190m project, and crucially a commitment from Minister Poots about the range and profile of services which will be provided in the new hospital."

(GK/BMcC)

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