Essential upgrade work at Carndonagh Community Hospital, which was due to start in 2017, has been pushed back by another year.
The Health Service Executive recently told Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue that the much-needed works are still at a detailed design stage, while no contract has yet been awarded and the project will be subject to capital funding.
McConalogue TD described the delay as ‘completely unacceptable’ and called for the upgrade to improve patient facilities to be undertaken as soon as possible.
Deputy McConalogue commented, “Carndonagh Community Hospital provides essential services to people needing long term care, convalescence, respite, palliative care and dementia care to people in Inishowen. It is a valuable asset and has strong community support.
“The improvement plans for the 46-bed hospital are much needed but I am very disappointed that the works are being pushed out to 2019.
“Back in 2016 I submitted a Parliamentary Question requesting a timeline for the works and I was told that they would begin in 2017. It’s now 2018 and the latest correspondence that I have received from the HSE says the contract for the works has not been awarded yet and the “subject to the availability of capital funding” construction would begin in 2019.
“I am concerned about the vague commitment being given by the HSE to this project. We are still only at design stage when the original plan was that works would be well underway by now.
“The upgrade is due to include the addition of en-suite facilities to all of the bedrooms as well as new extensions to the current dining and sitting rooms. These are very important works and will copper fasten the central role that Carndonagh Community Hospital plays in catering for the needs of older people in the wider Inishowen area.
“I would like to commend staff at the hospital for their dedication to their work and I would also thank members of the local community for the support and assistance they provide to the staff.
“The Community Hospital Action Group has played an extremely important role in highlighting the importance of these works – I want to pay tribute to them all and to thank them for all their work to date”.