11/04/2013

£40m Health Care Centres Announced For NI

Two new £40m health care centres for Northern Ireland have been given the go-ahead.

The new Lisburn and Newry facilities will accommodate GPs as well as a number of community services provided by the Trusts.

Health Minister Edwin Poots said the new centres, which will serve as hubs for the provision of health care in both communities, are a pivotal part of the reform of health and social care, as set out in Transforming Your Care (TYC).

Speaking to representatives from the Local Commissioning Groups, Mr Poots said: "A key element of ongoing health care reform is the need to move services away from hospitals except where it is absolutely necessary and to develop service provision in the community so that people can access treatment closer to their own homes or, where possible, at home. The provision of these new facilities will assist that process."

The proposals are based on an analysis of the health needs of the local populations.

The centres will provide a number of health services, including GP services, diagnostic services, imaging and children’s services.

The procurement process for these projects is expected to commence shortly with completion of the facilities expected in 2016.

"I am of the view that synergies can be developed within local communities by private sector providers co-locating other provision within the same premises," Mr Poots said.

"For example, some of the facilities may include a pharmacy or a Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Each facility would be tailored to meet local needs and the hubs will offer a much greater range of services to the communities which they serve."

Welcoming the announcement, Health and Social Care Board Chief Executive, John Compton said: "The Board very much welcomes the Minister’s announcement of this significant investment in primary and community care infrastructure. The development will support the direction of travel set out in Transforming Your Care which proposed the delivery of services closer to people’s homes.

"This is the first, in a planned programme of health and care centre developments which will help address the need for teams to be co-located and provide greater access to health and social care services in community settings. We are confident that health and care centres will play a key role in delivering high quality and accessible care for local communities."

(IT/CD)

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