Decision on new county Kilkenny 95-bed care hospital due next month
A decision on whether a much-needed new community care hospital promised by the Government for county Kilkenny will be made next month.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) hopes to build a 95-room community nursing and residential care unit next door to Thomastown’s St Columba’s Hospital.
A report published by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in the summer of 2018 deemed the current St Columba’s building “not fit for purpose,” and the inspection watchdog threatened to shut the 170-year-old hospital down if the HSE did not deliver on its promise of a new building.
The creation of this new care facility is now a priority for care requirements in Kilkenny. After some clarifications on the make-up of the final project by the HSE, planners in Kilkenny County Council will make the final call on whether the new facility, intended to replace what was built as Thomastown Union Workhouse in 1854 can go ahead.
The HSE is proposing to build the new facility on lands between the site of the current hospital and the grounds of St Mary’s National school.
It is hoped to build a two-storey community nursing unit and residential care building of 7669 sqm in total floor space.
The new building will have 95 en-suite bedrooms of which 20 rooms will be set aside specifically for patients suffering from dementia.
The plans include the provision of dining rooms, kitchenettes, day rooms, resident areas with family overnight room, visitor’s room, treatment rooms and salon.
An administrative section will be included, as well as courtyards and first-floor terrace spaces, staff accommodation and ancillary offices. The plans include the widening of the existing access road and construction of a new footpath, associated landscaping and all associated site development works.
A decision on the application is now expected by the end of March.