31/05/2006

Minister visits Londonderry hospitals

A new £4.8 million hospital has today been opened in Londonderry.

Health Minister Paul Goggins officially opened the state of the art Lakeview Hospital, which will be situated on the Gransha Park site and replaces Stradreagh, the former hospital for people with learning disabilities.

The new 43-bed unit, is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland.

It provides specialist assessment and treatment accommodation for the frail and physically ill, people suffering from acute psychiatric conditions, those with aggressive disruptive behaviour, and there is also a five-bedded children’s unit.

Lakeview Hospital is divided into four assessment and treatment lodges and one community unit, The Berryburn Centre, which provides assessment and intervention for adults admitted to Lakeview or those individuals who require specialist assessment and intervention on a day placement basis from the local community.

Speaking at the opening, the Health Minister said: “This new hospital is a significant achievement in meeting the needs of one of our most vulnerable patient groups. It is designed to meet individual needs and heralds a new era for this type of service, which has been designed to complement community based services.

“This development, which is the first of its kind in Northern Ireland, reflects collaborative working between the hospital and the community.”

Chairman of Foyle Health and Social Services Trust, Mr Tony Jackson, said that the team of staff both within the hospital and the community were absolutely delighted with the new facility.

He said: “This development is not just about a new building, it’s about the development of a new way of caring for patients. It will allow people with a learning disability to live in their community while being supported by a multi-professional team."

He said that Lakeview will support individuals admitted to the hospital and provide them with the necessary assessment and treatment so that they can return to their homes with the assistance of the community team.

The Health Minister also visited Altnagelvin Hospital where he laid the foundation stone for the hospital’s South Block and viewed the progress being made in the construction of the new Laboratory and Pharmacy Services Centre.

The Minister said: “I am very encouraged to see the progress being made at Altnagelvin and in the development of the new Laboratory and Pharmacy facilities here. These will provide the hospital with larger, fully-equipped amenities to meet the increasing demands being placed on the hospital and the services it provides."

Completion of the redevelopment at Altnagelvin and the building of new hospitals at Enniskillen and Omagh, will provide the people of this area with access to high quality, safe hospital services in the most modern settings.

(EF/SP)

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