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Dublin: 14 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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Here's what stage 35 primary care centres announced for 20 counties in 2012 are currently in

The centres were announced five years ago but only one is currently in use.

THE DEVELOPMENT OF 35 primary care centres was promised by the government back in 2012.

Primary care centres are essentially a one-stop shop for people’s basic health needs outside of a hospital. The centres include a GP and other health professionals such as physiotherapists, occupational therapists and counsellors.

Despite the announcement being made five years ago, just one of the centres is currently in use.

A further six are due to open this year and 10 more are expected to begin offering services next year.

Speaking about the progress, the Minister for Health Simon Harris said, “Delivery of primary care infrastructure is a dynamic process, which evolves to take account of changing circumstances including the feasibility of implementation.”

90421367_90421367 Minister for Health, Simon Harris, HSE Deputy Project Director Anita Behan and Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe at the sod-turning ceremony for the Summerhill Primary Care Centre. Source: Sam Boal via RollingNews.ie

The centres are either direct builds (4), in public-private partnerships (PPP) or have an operational lease (17), where the lessor retains the right of ownership.

Last year an agreement was reached with the European Investment Bank for a €70 million loan to develop the 14 PPP centres throughout Ireland.

This is the current status of the 35 locations, including the estimated opening dates:

Dublin

  • Rowlagh/North Clondalkin (direct build): The design team report has been complete and the HSE is finalising the purchase agreement of the site at Collinstown Park School. The purchase agreement is then subject to planning permission being granted for the development
  • Curlew Road/Crumlin/Drimnagh (direct build): Planning permission is in place for the centre.
  • Knocklyon/Rathfarnham (direct build): Planning permission is also in place for this centre.
  • Both Coolock and Darndale (which are both being built as a public-private partnership) are in construction with a projected opening for 2018.
  • Summerhill (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for next year.
  • Balbriggan (operational lease): Construction on the centre was completed in the second quarter of 2017 and it is due to be opened over the summer.
  • Swords (operational lease): Expressions of interest have been received and are currently being reviewed.

Wicklow

  • Rathdrum (operational lease): Planning has been approved and the HSE has finalised layouts. Construction is due to commence and it’s projected to open in the third quarter of 2018.

Kildare

  • Kilcock (public-private partnership): In construction with a projected opening for next year.

Louth

  • Drogheda north (operational lease): The developer has re-engaged. The existing building requires a fitout but if legal discussions are completed successfully, the projected construction start will be this year with completion in the first quarter of 2018 and operational in the second quarter.

Meath

  • Laytown/Bettystown (operational lease): The project is progressing and a schedule of accommodation is under review.
  • Kells (operational lease): The centre has been operational since 2016.

Monaghan

  • Carrickmacross (operational lease): A viable expression of interest has recently been received and the HSE is currently waiting for formal submissions.

Carlow

  • Tullow/Rathvilly/Hacketstown (direct build): The adjoining landowner has re-engaged with the HSE and options are being reviewed.

Kilkenny

  • Kilkenny city (operational lease): A priced offer has been approved and a letter of intent has been issued.

Wexford

  • Wexford town (private-public partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for next year.

Waterford

  • Dungarvan (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for 2018.
  • Waterford city (public-private partnership): Also in construction with a projected opening in 2018.

Cork

  • Cork city – Ballyphehane/Togher/Greenmount/The Lough - (operational lease): A letter of intent has been issued and layouts are being developed.

Kerry

  • Tralee (operational lease): A letter of intent has been issued and layouts are being developed.

Tipperary

  • Carrick-on-Suir (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for 2018.
  • Clonmel (operational lease): The HSE is reviewing accommodation requirements before progressing.
  • Thurles (operational lease): A letter of intent was issued in December 2015 and the project is progressing towards an agreement for lease.

Limerick

  • Limerick city (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for late this year.

Clare

  • Ennis (operational lease): Expressions of interest have been received and are currently being reviewed.

Galway

  • Tuam (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for late this year.
  • Gort (operational lease): A letter of intent was withdrawn in May of 2016 and the HSE is considering a possible re-advertisement.

Roscommon

  • Boyle (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for late 2017.
  • Ballaghadereen (operational lease): A letter of intent was issued in November 2015 and the project is progressing to an Agreement for Lease.

Mayo

  • Westport (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening in 2018.
  • Claremorris (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for this year.

Sligo

  • Ballymote (public-private partnership): The centre is in construction with a projected opening for late 2017.

Donegal

  • Dungloe – An Clochán Liath (operational lease): The HSE re-advertised for an operational lease option and an expressions of interest has been received.
  • Donegal town (operational lease): An expressions of interest has been received and is currently being reviewed.

Replying to a parliamentary question, Harris said, “The mechanism and timescale for delivery of primary care centres is dependent on a number of factors. Some of these factors are outside the control of the Health Service Executive.

Regardless of the delivery mechanism, all potential primary care infrastructure is subject to suitable locations being offered/provided/available, to successful planning processes and GP commitment to sharing accommodation and delivering health care services with HSE staff.

“In addition the operational lease mechanism is subject to market pressures such as the developers’ access to adequate financing.”

He added that 57 primary care centres have been opened since 2011, and a further 12 primary care centres are projected to open in 2017 or early 2018, in addition to the 35 above.

Read: Male nurse who contacted patient on Whatsapp and Facebook found guilty of professional misconduct>

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