New paediatric unit, ambulance station, extra A&E capacity and Fort George health hub among capital bids

The Department of Health has submitted bids for a new paediatric unit and ambulance control station at Altnagelvin and its proposed Cityside Health and Care Centre Hub.

Robin Swann
Robin Swann

It is also seeking funding for extra capacity at the Altnagelvin A&E department.

Asked for an update on capital projects by Sinn Féin MLA Pádraig Delargy, Mr. Swann said the applications were put forward during the Budget Process 2022-25

“My Department submitted a bid for the completion of phase 5.1 redevelopment of the Tower Block at Altnagelvin Hospital, which will include a new paediatrics unit.

“In addition, we have submitted a bid to continue with the next phase which will provide much needed additional capacity within the emergency department, unscheduled care, theatre and critical care services to enable transformation,” the minister said.

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There has also been progress on the proposed new Fort George health care hub, he confirmed.

“A bid for the site purchase, design and construction costs for the Cityside Health and Care Centre Hub has also been submitted which will allow practitioners to work collectively in a managed clinical network where access to out of hospital services is provided from a single facility.”

And there are also proposals to modernise the ambulance control centre in Derry.

“Finally, we have a bid for a new ambulance station hub at Altnagelvin with make ready centre and non-emergency ambulance control.

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“This hub will help the NIAS improve service performance, patient care and staff welfare by ensuring that ambulance vehicles are in the right place at the right time.”

Mr. Swann said there is a need for ‘a significant uplift in the capital resources required to deliver the much needed major investment across the health estate’ and warned that ‘if this is not provided, then it will be a number of years before my Department can take forward and deliver these new capital projects’.

Mr. Delargy, while welcoming the proposed developments, said there needs to be more investment in addiction services.

“While I welcome this planned investment, I’m very concerned that addiction services don’t feature in the Department of Health plans

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“This needs to be a priority going forward and I will continue to ensure that adequate resources are given to supporting individuals and families living with addiction,” he said.