Video: £110m Altnagelvin 'Nucleus Building' will be considered, says Robin Swann after experiencing 'considerable pressure' at Derry A&E

Health Minister Robin Swann has said he looks forward to considering the case for a new £110m 'Nucleus Building' at Altnagelvin and that he was struck by the 'considerable pressure' on the hospital's A&E department when he visited last week.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:14 pm

An outline business case for the multi-million pound West Wing development, which will focus on unscheduled care, theatre and critical care accommodation, is under development, he said.

He issued the confirmation after being asked by SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan if he had any plans to extend and improve the emergency department at Altnagelvin.

"I visited the ED in Altnagelvin last week, along with the care service. I saw at first hand the fantastic work that they do. I see John Dallat nodding in the background because I visited the cancer centre as well.

Health Minister Robin Swann

"The pressure on the ED, even at that time on a Wednesday afternoon, was considerable. There were ambulances waiting to discharge patients.

"My officials have been working on a long-term capital plan for the health and social care service, and, as part of that process, they have asked all health and social care trusts to put forward their key priorities," said Mr. Swann.

The minister said the development of additional theatre space at the Derry hospital will be considered in due course.

"The Western Health and Social Care Trust has been developing an outline business case for Altnagelvin phase 5.2 to include theatres, the accident and emergency department and the outpatients department.

"That is planned to be taken forward in two phases: 5.2A and 5.2B. The capital cost of the project is expected to be in the region of £110 million, with an additional revenue cost of £13 million per annum to enable them to open it.

"That was pressed on me by the chief executive of the trust when I visited. The outline business case is being worked on, and, as soon as it is presented, like everything else, it will be in the mix. I look forward to Executive colleagues supporting the financial bid," he remarked.

Mr. Durkan said: “I am pleased the Department are committed to the much needed transformation of the health and care system. As part of this process WHSCT has been developing a business case for a £110 million investment in the extension and improvement of Altnagelvin. This will include theatres, the accident and emergency department and the out-patient department.”

He continued: “I am glad that the Minister has witnessed first-hand the considerable burden currently plaguing the Emergency Department at Altnagelvin and the urgent need for improved provision. I am hopeful that the Executive will support the financial bid for this project. Our hospitals, their departments and their staff must be properly resourced to ensure the delivery of effective healthcare.”