Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s planners are currently considering an application to extend a ward at Craigavon Area Hospital.
Submitted by agent Knox and Clayton Architects on behalf of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, the application is proposing to extend an existing ward to accommodate four single bed rooms with en-suite facilities.
If approved the application will also allow for the provision of a plant room above the ward extension and an extension to an existing stair case to provide access to the plant room.
Received by Council’s planners on Thursday, May 6 and validated on Monday, May 24. The neighbour consultation period expires on Thursday, July 1 with the standard consultation period set to expire on Wednesday, July 7.
The application will be advertised until Friday, July 9.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, a spokesperson for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said the application is designed to improve facilities for patients on site.
“The Trust currently has a planning application relating to an upgrade of accommodation on the Craigavon Area Hospital site,” said the spokesperson.
“This is part of work to improve facilities for patients on the site.”
The development follows comments by the Trust’s Chief Executive and Director of Older People and Primary Care about the need for infrastructure investment.
Speaking at a virtual meeting of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in September last, the Trust’s Chief Executive, Shane Devlin said its “antiquated estate” is hindering its fight against Covid-19.
He told the meeting the use of bays limits staff’s ability to ensure there is “enough space for people to physically distance” within Trust premises.
These words were supported by the Trust’s then Director of Older People and Primary Care, Melanie McClements, who said the lack of side rooms with en-suites was a hindrance in the fight against Covid-19.
“We are working in antiquated buildings,” said Ms McClements. “I can’t magic up side rooms, we need to isolate patients but we don’t have side rooms.
“Under the capital plan we need investment for the population of the Southern Trust.”