A feasibility study on the prospect of a new city hospital at the St Stephen’s Hospital site in Glanmire has been put on hold.
Pádraig O’Sullivan TD for Cork North Central has expressed his disappointment on learning that this was the case, and called for it to resume as a matter of urgency.
“I have been informed through a Parliamentary Question that this project was paused due to the onset of the pandemic,” he said.
“I fully appreciate that the Health Service Executive has to prioritise its response to the current and ongoing crisis arising from the spread of Covid-19. However, it is my belief that the feasibility study must resume as a matter of urgency.
“The site at Glanmire is ideally positioned for a new hospital as it is close to the M8. It would ease the pressure on existing city hospitals and serve the needs of the people of Cork,” concluded Deputy O’Sullivan.
In 2018, Cork/Kerry Community Healthcare chief officer Ger Reaney said discussions would continue in January 2019 on expanding the facilities at the campus.
“...even though it has been delayed, it remains our intention to complete a Strategic Plan for the campus and work on this planning process will recommence in early in 2019,” he said.
The campus is currently home to an acute mental health unit, an Alzheimer's Unit, long-stay mental health units, and administrative and support facilities. Child and Family Agency Tusla also has a presence on the site.
By December 2019 it was reported that a strategic plan for Glanmire’s St Stephen’s Hospital was close to being finalised and it was widely indicated that it was under consideration as a location for Cork’s proposed elective hospital.
At that time, a spokesperson for the HSE said: “The range of public health services proposed to be delivered from the campus, which is an essential component in formulating the strategic plan, is still being finalised by the Health Service. On finalisation of the public health services proposed to be delivered from this campus, the strategic plan can then be confirmed and issued.” The HSE began a strategic plan for the development of the campus in early 2017.