£6 million hospital plan gets green light
Plans for the first phase of a new Co. Hospital in Wexford are well under way. The £6 million development, which will effectively replace the old surgical hospital, is expected to go to tender next October.
Work on the first phase, which will comprise 76 beds, two operating theatres, five intensive care beds, three isolation beds, a recovery unit, a sterile supplies department, a general outpatients’ area, and a block of administrative offices, will begin in 1985 and is expected to be complete by 1988.
Site clearance has already begun in the area surrounding the new medical and maternity wings of where the new hospital is to be located.
These wings form part of the overall hospital plan for the future which was given Government go-ahead about two years ago, following many years of complaint and criticism about standards in the existing hospital, particularly in the surgical wing.
The work of a project team set up in 1978 to plan a new hospital of 299 beds is now beginning to show real progress. The major stumbling block was finance, but plans are now progressing steadily with a £6 million approval from the Department of Health.
After that allocation has been spent, the only facilities to remain in the old Wexford Co. Hospital, which was built as a workhouse in 1838, will be the kitchen, laundry, mortuary, physiotherapy unit, and eye clinic.
And these will be provided in the second stage of development of the new hospital at a later stage, together with additional facilities which are not provided at all at the moment.
The overall plan of the new hospital allows for 71 medical beds, 4 coronary care, 68 general/ surgical, 5 intensive care, 19 gynaecology, 48 obstetrics, 44 paediatric and 40 acute psychiatry.
The provision of the acute psychiatry unit is keeping in line with recommendations made by senior psychiatrists in the region in a recently-published report. It is considered desirable to include psychiatric facilities in general hospital complexes for out-patients and short-stay patients, both from the point of view of convenience and the need to have psychiatric problems viewed by the public as part of general health care.
The new hospital will move away from the design idea of the ‘Nightingale’ wards currently in use, which house as many as 20 patients each. Instead, patients at the new Co. Hospital can look forward to bright and modern six-bed wards, with adjoining toilet and bathroom facilities.
First class operating theatres, x-ray rooms and outpatient facilities will also greet patients in the new development.
Wexford Co. Hospital will be one of the most modern and up-to-date in the country when completed.
The existing hospital complex will remain intact. A number of plans for its alternative use are being suggested within health board circles already.