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Minister officially opens Ballyshannon Community Hospital

 Group of eight people standing between a plaque on a wall.


“This is a wonderful facility for the provision of older persons services in this community. It offers the most modern care in a homely and warm atmosphere. I am delighted to officially open the HSE Ballyshannon Community Hospital, which will serve this area for generations to come,” according to Minister of State, Mary Butler, TD, as she performed the official opening of the new Co Donegal based Community Hospital in recent days.

Speaking at the event, Donna Reid, Director of Nursing, Ballyshannon Community Hospital, said they were “delighted to have Minister Butler here today to meet our residents, who have now settled into their new home. It’s an exciting day for them and their families as well as our dedicated and committed staff."

Head of Service, Older Persons Service, Frank Morrison, added that “the comfort and care of our residents is our main priority. It is a momentous day to see the hard work and efforts of so many, over the years, coming to fruition with the official opening of this great new facility.”

Located at the site of the old Sheil Hospital, the €36.7 million facility provides 52 long-stay beds and 20 short-stay beds. It allows for a range of services including convalescence, rehabilitation, respite and palliative care. The hospital also features dementia-specific assessment beds and a day hospital service.

The facility allows for care to be given in the most appropriate modern health care environment which benefits each resident and patient while also promoting a high quality of life. 

The hospital will provide in-house occupational and physiotherapy services to patients and residents. Additional supporting professional services include dietetics, speech and language therapy, podiatry, tissue viability nurse specialist, dentistry, audiology, clinical nurse specialist dementia, psychiatry of old age and social worker, along with advocacy and spiritual services.

The first phase of the opening took place in February this year, with the 26 residents based in the Community Nursing Unit at the Rock, Ballyshannon, transferring to the new facility.

The second phase will see the opening of the 20-bed short-term unit. This unit will facilitate discharges from both Sligo University Hospital and Letterkenny University Hospital for those patients who require further inpatient care in a step-down facility. During this phase, a further long-term care ward will also open, depending on the level of recruitment completed. It is expected that phase two will be completed in July 2024.

The final third phase will involve the opening of the remaining long-term ward (13 beds) and the Dementia Unit. It is anticipated that all units will be operational by December 2024.

Additional facilities and services include hairdressing, newspapers, magazines and shopping requirements, with dry cleaning and transport also made available. The new hospital also features wildflower rooftop gardens, a new coffee dock for patients and visitors, and a collection of books spanning three centuries including some belonging to the late Dr Simon Sheil.

All required staff for the hospital have been officially sanctioned, with recruitment ongoing in relation to staff of all required grades. The staffing complement attached to the hospital is significant and will contribute to the wider social and economic development of the community in the South Donegal, North Leitrim and North Sligo areas. Approximately 147 staff will be employed at the new hospital.