Work is to start on Monday on the site of a new primary care centre in Ballymote in South Sligo.
The centre is one of 14 in the country for which a total of €70 million in European Central Bank funding was announced this morning.
The new centre at Ballymote, will provide a range of services, including a mental health team.
John Hayes, the HSE’s chief officer for community health organisation in the Cavan, Donegal, Leitrim, Monaghan and Sligo area, has welcomed the announcement by the Department of Health that a new primary care centre will be built at Earlsfield, Ballymote.
A full range of primary care services will be provided at the centre.
They will include GP services, public health nursing, occupations therapy, physioptherapy, dental, podiatry, speech and language therapy and psychological services.
There will also be a mental health facility to cater for the needs of those in south and west Sligo.
The mental health facility will occupy two floors . . . and its staff will include a consultant psyvchiatrist as well as occupational therapy, CBT, family therapy, addiction counselling, and an eating disorder practitioner.
The new development is in line with the modern idea of community-based mental health care.
The centre will be open five days a week, with extra hours at weekends and evenings for some services.
There will also be capacity for an ambulance facility based at the location.
The project is being delivered by a consortium of Prime, Balfour Beatty and its investors, Prime UK Holdings LTD and HICL Infrastrucutre Company Ltd.
In May of last year, the consortium was announced as the preferred tenderer fore the 25-year design, build, finance and maintain contract.
It’s not clear at this point how much of the €70m in ECB funding will be going to the Ballymote centre.
Independent North West MEP Marian Harkin outlines how the funding works:Meanwhile, concern has been voiced by some local people in Ballymote about the safety of the proposed entrance and exit to the new health centre which is beside schools, housing estates and a creche.
It’s understood discussions are ongoing in efforts to reach a resolution on this issue that will be satisfactory to all sides.