Craigavon children’s ward to get £1m boost

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Craigavon Area Hospital is to get a new paediatric ward and ambulatory care unit as part of what could eventually be a £15m in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

The proposed accommodation includes 10 bedrooms and nine cot bays. The ward will be designed to provide the segregation of areas to nurse both adolescents and children with complex needs.

It will also include a dedicated ambulatory care unit and outpatient area.

£900,000 has also been allocated for two MRI scanners in the trust area with £1m allocated for a paediatric centre of excellence at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry,.

The announcement was made by the NI Finance Minister Simon Hamilton and Health Minister Edwin Poots on Monday.

The Southern Trust said the investment would advance its strategy of reforming services for children.

“This investment would represent an initial tranche of funding that would facilitate the trust in progressing the implementation of its strategic plan ‘Changing for Children’ for reforming paediatric hospital based services (consulted on and approved by Trust Board on September 30, 2010) with the total funding required likely to be in the region of £15m across both sites (Craigavon £6.5m and Daisy Hill Hospital £8.5m).

“Work is now under way to urgently develop one combined capital business case that will require approval by the HSCB, DHSSPS and DFP before any spend could be committed and which will need to take into account any implications arising from the DHSSPS Regional Review of Paediatric Services expected to be issued imminently.

“The trust’s proposals are to deliver a reformed service model within child and family appropriate accommodation that brings together inpatients, ambulatory care and dedicated paediatric theatre accommodation.”

At Daisy Hill the accommodation will provide a co-located paediatric ward with 20 bed spaces, theatre suite, ambulatory unit and outpatient area.

Upper Bann MP David Simpson discussed the investment during a meeting with Southern Trust chief executive Mairead McAlinden this week.

He said, “The investment is the first step as the trust progresses the implementation of its strategic plan ‘Changing for Children’.

“The children’s ward at Craigavon remains very busy and I commend the dedicated staff for the service they provide. I also must commend the Health Minister for successfully securing additional money.”