MORE than 150 community nursing beds are to be delivered in Cork by 2024, across two new developments at sites in St Finbarr’s and Midleton.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and Minister for Mental Health and Older Persons Mary Butler, have announced the awarding of contracts to deliver seven Community Nursing Units (CNU) under the Hiqa compliance programme through Public Private Partnership (CNU PPP Project).
Two of these CNUs are in Cork — a 105-bed facility in St Finbarr’s and a 50-bed facility in Midleton.
Residential care facilities being delivered through the project comprise of short and long stay beds for older persons, and each CNU is made up of a number of 25-bed households including single and twin bedrooms en-suite.
The ‘person-centred’ model focuses on quality of life, providing an environment that reflects the comforts of home with assistance provided with everyday tasks.
Each household includes a dayroom and sunroom, dining area, break out spaces, activity spaces, quiet rooms, external spaces and staff and nursing areas. The St Finbarr’s development will also include three 10-bed households with dementia specific beds.
Equisisk have been appointed to design, build, finance and maintain the CNU facilities. The HSE will pay €24m per year under the contract for the seven CNU facilities, for a 25 year term, after which they will be handed back to the HSE.
The sites will remain in State ownership for the entire period, with all patient services provided by the HSE.
Construction at St Finbarr’s is set to begin before Christmas 2022, and by early 2023 for the Midleton unit. It is expected both facilities will be completed by the end of 2024.
Speaking on the 50-bed unit to be developed at Midleton Hospital, Cork East Fianna Fáil TD James O’Connor said the project “will provide significant bed capacity and state-of-the-art facilities, in addition to increased amenities for residents, enhanced visitor facilities and further accommodation and office space for hospital staff”.