26 Jun 2022

Green light for development of new Lifford Community Hospital

It has been estimated the new facility could cost approximately €6 million

Green light for development of new Lifford Community Hospital

Lifford Community Hospital as it stands today

A new purpose-built Lifford Community Hospital is being proposed for a greenfield site just outside the town and it has been estimated it could cost several million euros to complete.

A special meeting between the Friends of Lifford Hospital group and HSE executives on Thursday has set the wheels in motion for the new development.

The campaign for the provision of a proper community hospital facility has been going on for decades with many false dawns and disappointments. It is now understood the HSE has accepted that there is a need for this facility in their area.

The news was revealed on the Friends of Lifford Hospital Facebook page on Thursday night.

It is understood there will be a new building in Lifford. It will be a one-stop-shop for services like primary care, community nursing, and the like. The site being proposed is understood to be within the environs of the town itself.

The impression was given at Thursday's two-hour meeting in the Old Courthouse that the HSE had been doing a lot of work behind the scene for a while.

It is understood that it was represented by Dermot Monaghan, chief officer, Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan; Kevin Gunn, acting estates manager, HSE Estates and Frank Morrison, head of the service, Older Persons, Community Healthcare Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan, Sligo and they were very positive and constructive.

People in Lifford are delighted with the news and gave the HSE credit for researching what they have been claiming for more than 20 years, that this area badly needs such a facility. The timescale we talked about was five years for completion so it could be in place by 2027.

"They acknowledged we need a community hospital in Lifford to service this area and indeed the whole of east Donegal. They showed a completely different mindset when it came to this; so different to what we have been experiencing for years," said one local.

However, there is no getting away from the fact that there is still much work to do but this is a step in the right direction. It has been suggested the new facility could cost anything up to €6 million to develop.

The Friends of Lifford Hospital group has indicated during election campaigns and at many public meetings that they have been waiting for the green light for this for years.

While it has not been confirmed, it is understood the old hospital will still remain in the hands of the HSE but it would be refurbished and used for administrative and auxiliary services.

It is believed that to bring it up to the standard needed for looking after patients would cost too much and it would be more practical to start with a new greenfield site."

It is expected that the next stage will be a meeting with all county councillors, the five TDs, and two senators to get their support to ensure there were no obstacles to the progress of the development.

At their recent annual general meeting, the Friends of Lifford Hospital group indicated in its financial statement that it had  €220,000 in place in several financial institutions from years of fundraising.

The group has made no secret of the fact that they would be looking to use it for patient equipment once the HSE had opened the doors of the new hospital.

There was anger locally on May 24 when it emerged the Lifford project was not mentioned in the HSE Capital Development Programme but it is understood this will be rectified now.

When contacted the chairman of the Friends of Lifford Hospital committee, John Quinn said he was not in a position to comment as both parties had agreed not to divulge any details of their meeting until all approvals were put in place.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.