New hospital to open in 2012

Published Tuesday, 22 November 2011
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A multi-million pound acute hospital in Enniskillen with coronary care and intensive care units is set to be fully operational in the Western Health Trust area in 2012.

The building will replace the existing Erne hospital and will provide services including maternity, surgery and Accident and Emergency for more than 132,000 people in Co Fermanagh, Omagh and the surrounding area.

The facility began over two years ago and its state of the art services are costing £276million. It will be the second hospital in the UK to provide each patient with their own en suite room.

Clinical lead for the project Dr Jim Kelly, explains the individual room plan will help fight against hospital superbugs.

"Very careful thought has gone into the design of the hospital so that the flow of goods into the building, into and out of the wards is separated from public flows," he said, "That ensures that there is no cross-contamination."

The hospital has been built as part of the private finance initiative, which Joe Lusby, Deputy Chief Executive of the Western Trust, explains is good news for patients and hospital workers.

"Once the hospital is handed over to the Trust, the Department of Health will contribute £100m to the building cost, reducing the annual unitary charge which must be paid out for 30 years.

"Over those years, there's a commitment to maintain the building and replace key pieces of equipment as part of the contract. In other hospitals we struggle year on year to replace equipment and keep the building up to date. That will not be the case here," said Mr Lusby.

It is thought patients from the Republic will also be treated at the new Fermanagh hospital by late next year.

© UTV News
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