3 May 2013 No Comments by The Northern Standard

A €9.5 capital development at the site of Monaghan General Hospital which will see the construction of a new Primary Care Centre for North Monaghan was announced by the Health Service Executive on Monday.

Design and planning work on the new building, a 20,000 sq ft structure which will be connected to and integrated with the existing hospital, will commence later this year.

“When completed, this development will provide an integrated health and social care centre, with primary care services complementing the already existing services in Monaghan Hospital,” a HSE statement confirmed.

The Primary Care Centre will accommodate two primary care teams providing a range of health and social care services.

These will include public health nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, psychology and primary care social work services.

The centre will also provide accommodation for outpatient aspects of mental health services.
The HSE say that the new provision is designed to complement the existing services at the hospital, which include a minor injury unit, outpatient services, inpatient rehabilitation and stepdown beds, day services, and radiology and endoscopy services.

The design and planning stage of the project will be followed by a formal procurement process to select a contractor to carry out the construction work.

The decision to locate the primary care facility at the Monaghan Hospital site was confirmed to local public representatives at a briefing held by the HSE at St Davnet’s Hospital on Monday.
The HSE said that Monaghan Hospital was chosen as the location following a recent review by HSE Estates and Cavan Monaghan Integrated Service Area of potential sites in the North Monaghan area, including two at the St Davnet’s campus.

The €9.5 million to develop the project is being accessed from the National Capital Plan.
“The policy regarding the provision of Primary Care Team services is that these services are best provided from a building which accommodates both HSE primary care staff and GP practices,” the HSE stated.

“The HSE has commenced discussions with local GPs with regard to this development and are hopeful that the required participation of GPs will be forthcoming to allow this project to proceed.
“There are currently 12 Primary Care Teams providing services to the total population of Cavan and Monaghan. To date, new primary care centres have been developed in Drumalee, Cavan and Cootehill. An additional primary care centre is underway at Connolly Street, Cavan.”

The announcement has been welcomed across the broad range of the local political spectrum and is being viewed as a generally positive development following the recent history of service depletion at the Monaghan Hospital location.

Robbie Gallagher, Fianna Fáil member of Monaghan Co and Monaghan Town Council, said that while this development would not bring back the services that had been lost to the hospital, it had the potential to stem any further service reduction and lead to increased activity and use of the facility which might in the future lead to services there being further enhanced.

Colr Gallagher along with Monaghan Co Council colleagues Brian McKenna and David Maxwell tabled a notice of motion at the HSE’s Regional Health Forum in May of last year asking HSE North East to investigate as a matter of urgency the possibility of Monaghan General Hospital being used as a site for a primary care facility for North Monaghan.

The FF representative also welcomed the €9.5 million investment in the project as “a significant boost for the local economy”.

He said he had been assured by the HSE that the primary care development would not mean any removal or reduction of the existing services being provided at the hospital.

“We have been promised positive developments at our hospital for a long time, and this is certainly a project with the potential to improve the level of health care provision for the people of North Monaghan,” Colr Gallagher commented, expressing the hope that the establishment of the primary care facility could in time serve as the base for the provision of a fully fledged Doctor on Call service for the north of the county.

“The increased through-flow of people at the hospital should have a positive impact on the numbers using …

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