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*Photograph: PL Chadwick

A €2m extension of Raheen Community Hospital is underway which will result in the building of a new ward.

On Tuesday, the HSE confirmed that following a Public Works Restricted Procurement procedure, Custy Construction have been awarded the contract and works have now commenced on site.

Works will be carried out in two phases. The first phase has begun and consists of the construction of a new plant room and services compound and involves the partial demolition of existing stores building to allow for the connection and commissioning of the new services to the existing building.

July 2021 is the scheduled start date for phase two. Works under this phase include the demolition of the remainder of the stores building followed by the construction of the bedroom block.

Construction is expected to last twelve months, this will be followed by the equipping of the unit.

Clare TD, Joe Carey (FG) believed the progress would “be of great comfort and relief to patients and their families who rely on the wonderful services in Raheen”. He stated, “This important development will enable the hospital to continue to provide appropriate care in the community for years to come”.

Deputy Michael McNamara (IND) said the commencement of work on the ward was “badly needed” and will restore confidence locally around the future of the East Clare facility.

“Following the 2011 General Election, there was a suggestion that some community hospitals could face closure. I supported the Raheen Support Group in what was a difficult situation for everyone associated with the future development of the facility. Upgrade works had been undertaken at Ennistymon and Kilrush community hospitals, but little progress was being made in Raheen in the intervening years,” explained Deputy McNamara.

He added, “The people of Scarriff and the wider East Clare area will very much welcome the Government’s approval of €2 million for the extension consisting of the provision of a new build ward extension. This will provide HIQA compliant accommodation to 7 residents in the existing Community Nursing Unit at Raheen”.

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