28/06/2006

Outline planning given for Fermanagh hospital

A new acute hospital in in County Fermanagh, has been given outline planning permission.

Health Minister, Paul Goggins, today said that progress on the new £229 million acute hospital for the south west had taken a major step forward with the notice of opinion to approve outline planning permission for the project.

The new hospital will be the leading project in the government’s ‘Developing Better Services’ (DBS) strategy to transform health services in Northern Ireland.

Up to 150 investors are expected to attend a market information day organised by Sperrin Lakeland Trust in Belfast today, which will allow investors to learn about the project plans and the opportunity for private sector investment in this major scheme.

The Minister said: “The notice of opinion to approve outline planning permission for the new acute hospital is great news for the people of the South West. The new acute hospital will be the first major project to progress as part of the ‘Developing Better Services’ strategy to modernise health services here. The DBS strategy is changing the way in which health care services are provided to patients in Northern Ireland. These changes will affect everyone but they will ultimately mean high quality, safe, accessible services for patients wherever they may live."

Mr Goggins continued by saying that the new acute hospital will provide the local population with access to a wide range of acute services including Accident and Emergency, inpatient medicine and surgery, critical care and maternity and added that he is currently considering the Outline Business Case for the acute hospital and also for the local hospital complex in Omagh.

The Minister said that together, these two projects represent a massive investment in the south west and, more importantly, will ensure patients have access to modern state-of-the-art health facilities, fit for the 21st century.

Health Minister Paul Goggins continued: "Today the Trust will hold their second Market Information Day for investors. The first event in London attracted significant interest and I have no doubt today’s event will also draw a large audience. The huge level of interest reflects the confidence the construction sector has in becoming involved in such major projects. Not only will the new hospital provide jobs during its construction, it will be a major employer of people living in the south west.”

Work on the new acute hospital for the south west is expected to start in 2007 with the hospital due to be completed by 2010/11.

(EF/SP)

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