CONSTRUCTION work which was due to begin in the early stages of 2021 on the 60-bed extension to Heather House is unlikely to be affected by the recent restrictions enforced on the construction industry.
The HSE is hoping to commence construction work in the Community Nursing Unit, located in Gurranabraher in early 2021, with the expectation of completing the project in the fourth quarter of 2021. The estimated project cost is approximately €27m.
Cork TD Colm Burke said he hopes the new lockdown measures introduced by the government on Wednesday will not delay the start of the extension plans.
Mr Burke said he believed the restrictions that are in place with regards to the construction industry could delay the process.
"My understanding is that nothing has happened there yet and I presume they won’t open up anything until the builders are back in full effect in the coming weeks,” he said.
However, a HSE source has told The Echo that the project is expected to go ahead as planned.
The Fine Gael health spokesperson welcomed the news that an extra 60 beds will be provided in Heather House in the foreseeable future, given the huge shortage of beds.
“An additional 60 beds is great news. It is a big extension. One of the big problems we have faced in recent times is that people have had to travel outside of the city to try and get residential facilities.
“We have had a number of cases where we couldn’t get a bed in a nursing home anywhere in Cork city, and they have had to go to East Cork before coming back again when vacancies arose.
“This represents a huge challenge for families. You might have an elderly partner who may not be able to travel to East Cork, so the additional 60 beds in Heather House is very welcome,” he added.