All residents have returned to Carndonagh Community Hospital following a €4.2 million refurbishment of the 46-bed facility which provides long-term residential, palliative and respite care, the HSE has reported..
However, concern have been raised over a move of the day care centre at the hospital to Glengad Community Centre.
Also, it remains unclear when a planned upgrade to Buncrana Community hospital will begin.
Under plans first announced in January 2016, the hospital has undergone a radical improvement to create a more modern and comfortable residential care facility for residents.
The refurbishment came about in response to criticisms from the Health Information Quality Authority (HIQA) over the lack of privacy and dignity provided to residents in Carn hospital.
Acknowledging some mishaps and covid caused disruption along the way, the Carndonagh Hospital Liaison Group, said it was delighted to see the hospital returning to full capacity with much better facilities.
“We commend the people and the local and national representatives of North and East Inishowen for their resilience in ensuring that the Government and the HSE followed through on this project,” the group, chaired by retired GP Dr John Madden, said in a statement.
“We particularly want to acknowledge the Herculean work done by the management and staff in Carndonagh and Buncrana while the works were in progress. There was much done in moving and reconfiguring wards to facilitate what needed to be done.”
In April 2021, 11 short stay residents moved to Buncrana Community Hospital, with 23 long stay residents remaining in Carndonagh during the refurbishment.
All those residents have now returned to Carn.
Glengad Community Centre
However, the hospital liaison group expressed concern that the day-care centre in Carn hospital has closed and is to be moved to Glengad Community Centre owing to infection control concerns post-covid.
“We do not believe that this is the best option considering the geographic spread of the catchment area,” the group’s statement said.
“Dr John Madden and members of the group are meeting Dermot Monaghan of the HSE shortly to discuss the situation in relation to the Day-Care Centre and the HSE’s plans for the James Connolly Memorial hospital.”
The group concluded by paying tribute to former member PH Doherty. “On a sad note, our friend and treasurer, PH Doherty (Glackin) is not around to see the results of his trojan work on behalf of the hospital. Rest well, Paddy.”
In January 2016, the HSE allocated €2.6 million to the Carn hospital refurbishment. Seven years on, the final bill came in at €4.2 million,
60% more expensive.
The work included a full refurbishment of the residential area of the hospital including new bathrooms and en-suite bathrooms, a new day and dining room extension for the residents, reconfigured bedrooms with increased hoist coverage and new residents garden areas. All mechanical and electrical services were replaced.
Buncrana Community Hospital
Buncrana Community Hospital is in line for a similar refurbishment to Carn, although it’s unclear when work will get under way.
In January 2016, €2.97 million was announced for the Buncrana nursing unit. In 2019, the HSE said work at Buncrana would be sequenced to commence after the conclusion of work in Carndonagh so as to ensure continuity of service.
Buncrana is in line for a 2,500 square foot extension to provide six one-bed wards, new day room for residents, visitors room and waiting area.