Community health hub planned for Derry

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Foyle Sinn Féin MLA Maeve McLaughlin has called on the health minister to state what progress has been on plans to build a state of the art health and social care hub in Derry.

Ms McLaughlin made the call following a meeting with representatives of the Western Trust last week to discuss the Transforming Your Care shake-up of health provision.

Plans to build a community health care hub in Derry, which would bring together GP, pharmacy and dental services in one facility, were discussed several years ago but were shelved due to financial considerations.

A site at Creggan Burn Park had been suggested as a possible location for the community health care hub at the time. The Foyle MLA said the time is now right to revisit and update the plans and called for a discussion on the issue.

A report into the financial implications of the project has been commissioned and is expected to be completed before Easter.

Ms McLaughlin said the development of the facility, part of the health service’s move from acute to community-based care, could include a major investment in health and social care.

“I would welcome the idea of moving health care provision back into communities in order to provide effective care and services where they are needed.

“This had been discussed a number of years ago and it is something that needs to be revisited.

“It could involve a major investment in the health and social care sector in this city. £83 million has been earmarked for the move from acute towards community provision and I am asking how this money will be spent.

“I will be raising this matter with the health minister and saying that if we are serious about implementing the Transforming Your Care proposals then we need to be looking again at the idea of creating community health care hubs where a range of services are available under one roof. There needs to be a wider discussion on this in the time ahead,” she said.