Ground works to prepare for the construction of a new 50 bed ward at Portiuncula Hospital are expected to be completed by the end of next May a Galway TD has said.
Galway TD Denis Naughten has said that the Minister of Health has informed him that the expected completion date of the ground works is now May 25, 2021.
These works must take place before construction of the new Emergency Department can go ahead.
While COVID-19 played a role in the delayed timeline for delivering this new A&E, the Independent TD said, he also claimed there was also a failure by officials to follow through in a “timely manner” on commitments made regarding this project.
“It is now expected that construction of the new 50 bed ward block will be delayed until the middle of 2021, which is disappointing.”
“The reality of Covid-19 is that a new ward block is now more urgently required than ever to address the chaotic situation that many patients, and staff, have faced in the past in our local A&E Department.”
In an oral answer to Deputy Naughten’s parliamentary question on the status of the 50 bed ward, Minister Donnelly said that it is intended to start advertising for contractors in the final quarter of 2020.
However, while this would be undertaken with a view towards starting work in mid-2021, the Minister also cautioned that the final go ahead cannot be given until after the tender process, while looking at how the financial situation stands.
“The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs.”
“The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery.”
Denis Naughten said, “This new 50 bed ward block at Portiuncula will increase bed usage and can also provide additional beds in the hospital system.
“On a positive note the Radiology Flouroscopy room refurbishment and equipment replacement is expected to be completed in February.
He said this will significantly improve the quality of diagnosis in the hospital and assist the medical teams in treating patients.”