Plans for huge 95-room care facility at county Kilkenny hospital
By COLIN BARTLEY
A NEW hospital building promised by the Government for county Kilkenny could yet be built by 2021.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has lodged a planning application with Kilkenny County Council to build a 95-room community nursing and residential care unit in the grounds of 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 hospital building “not fit for purpose”. The watchdog threatened to shut the hospital if the Health Service Executive (HSE) did not deliver on its promise of a new building.
The HSE lodged the application for the new unit on August 23.
According to the application, the HSE is looking 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.
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. A Natural Impact Statement (NIS) has been submitted.