Green light for €19 million 100-patient community care facility in Kilkenny
A new €19 million, 95-bed community care unit for county Kilkenny has been given the green light.
Kilkenny County Council approved plans this week for the 95-bed facility on the grounds of St Columba’s Hospital in Thomastown.
The new facility became essential following a report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) in the summer of 2018, which deemed the current hospital building “not fit for purpose.”
HIQA threatened to shut the hospital if the Health Service Executive (HSE) did not deliver on its promise of a new building.
Last August the HSE lodged the plans for the new facility with the local authority, which have now been approved.
The new building will have 95 en-suite bedrooms of which 20 rooms will be set aside specifically for patients suffering from dementia, across two-storey in a building of 7669 sqm in total floor space.
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.
The site on which the HSE wishes to build on is adjacent to but does not include St. Columba’s Hospital as it is a protected structure.
Local Fine Gael TD, John Paul Phelan described the decision as: “A massive boost.”
“This is fantastic news for the existing staff and patients at St Columba’s and a welcome development for the surrounding community which gets unrivalled care at our community hospital. Six years ago Ann Phelan and I got St Columba’s included on the HSE list for a proper vision of a new geriatric hospital. This welcome development is the culmination of that.
“As our population ages and senior members of our community need more assistance in their advanced years, facilities such as these are critical in our local area. Improved facilities at St Columba’s will allow people to stay in the community when their needs change and will help families be close to their loved ones.
“The standard of care at St Columba’s has always been second to none and we look forward to works beginning on site in the note too distant future,” Deputy Phelan said.