New hospital build proposed

CRAIGAVON AREA HOSPITAL
CRAIGAVON AREA HOSPITAL

Business plans for a new hospital build on the site of the current Craigavon Area Hospital have been submitted.

The Southern Health Trust confirmed it has drawn up the plans for a substantial new building on the 40 year old hospital.

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill said the plans would have to be consulted and ratified by both her department and the Department of Finance.

The Minister said: “The Southern Trust has presented a business case to the Department of Health for a new hospital build on the Craigavon Area Hospital site; the business case will require both Department of Finance and department approval.

“Decisions on this plan will be considered alongside other capital investment priorities and will be dependent on future budget availablity, value for money and affordability.”

Currently work is ongoing on a £6.9m paediatric unit.

Carla Lockhart MLA said: “This is welcome news. There is no doubt that our hospital is in much need of investment. The building itself is over 40 years old and unfortunately is a drain on resources with regards to maintenance.

“Given the excellent work that is ongoing at the hospital it is essential that there is investment to ensure that there is a safe environment in which to operate and conduct health and social care. Investment in this site has been limited with a piece meal approach.

Sinn Fein MLA Catherine Seeley said: “I am aware of the business case presented by the Southern Trust. Both myself and John O’Dowd MLA recently met the Chief Executive and his team during the course of which this was raised.

“Moving forward, and given the announcement regarding the radical reform of the Health Service, we need to shift our focus, resources and investments to improved service delivery.

“If service delivery can be improved with a new build then a business case is the place to do that. As such I will continue to engage with the Southern Trust around this issue.”