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New Ballyshannon Community Hospital opens

 The exterior view of the new Ballyshannon Community Hospital with its wildflower and seating area



"It is fantastic that we have now reached the point where we can open the doors of our brand new Ballyshannon Community Hospital to our residents,” according to Donna Reid, Person-in-Charge, Ballyshannon Community Hospital, speaking in recent weeks as the facility began opening on a phased basis.

“This is such a great facility for the provision of services for older persons in our community. I am so looking forward to welcoming our residents and their families into the new hospital, enabling us to provide them with the very best care."

A total of 26 residents are moving into their new home at the new Community Hospital, with the €36.7million facility located on the site of the old Sheil Hospital in the town.

The hospital features 52 long-stay beds and 20 short-stay beds. They provide convalescence and rehabilitation, along with respite and palliative care beds.  They also provide 8 dementia-specific assessment beds and a Day Hospital service.

HSE Primary Care Services will provide a full range of supporting professional services including speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics and podiatry. There will also be a Tissue Viability Nurse Specialist, a Clinical Nurse Specialist-Dementia, dentistry, audiology, psychiatry of old age services and social worker support, along with advocacy and spiritual services. Other services and facilities include hairdressing, shopping, newspaper/magazine requirements and dry cleaning. Access will also be provided to transport services including taxis.

The hospital also features a new coffee dock for patients and visitors. It further features wildflower rooftop gardens and a collection of books spanning three centuries including some belonging to the late Dr Simon Sheil.

The first phase of the opening process allows for the existing residents in the Community Nursing Unit based at the Rock Hospital, Ballyshannon, to transfer across. This will ensure that these residents receive the most appropriate modern health care in an environment which meets their needs and promotes a high quality-of-life. 

Speaking in recent days, some of the returning residents have been looking forward to the move. One resident, Margot O’Kane, said she was “very happy and looking forward to moving into my new home. I am nervous and excited at the same time.’’

Local HSE Head of Service, Older Persons Services, Frank Morrison, said they were “beyond delighted to welcome our residents into their new home. This state-of-the art facility will provide the most modern care and comforts for the residents.”

In preparation for the opening, successful recruitment campaigns have been held at both local and national level to ensure that the appropriate staff are available.  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.