The Southern Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed its purchase of the Monaghan Row Buildings from Newry Mourne and Down District Council.
Situated next door to Daisy Hill Hospital, the £900,000 acquisition will allow the Trust to expand and develop services at the hospital.
Daisy Hill is an essential part of the Southern Trust hospital network, along with Craigavon Area and South Tyrone, serving our entire population from South Down to Mid Ulster.
Last year the busy hospital had 2019 births, 55,057 ED attendances, 8,042 inpatient admissions and undertook 82,466 diagnostic investigations.
A number of key investments in recent years at Daisy Hill include; the redevelopment of the entire sixth floor into the state of the art paediatric unit, the new outpatients department at Bernish House, the new Direct Assessment Unit, the Emergency Department refurbishment, the new paediatric outpatients at Clanrye House, the new Medical Education Centre, main theatre redevelopment and pharmacy renovations.
Plans are progressing to develop the hospital as a regional overnight stay centre for elective surgery and work is ongoing on a major electrical upgrade with a £9m investment from the Department of Health confirmed in January.
Welcoming the latest news, Southern Trust Chair, Eileen Mullan said: “With increasing demands on our services, significant workforce issues and financial pressures, we are very proud of the high quality of care provided by our very dedicated staff right across our organisation.
“Daisy Hill is a renowned teaching hospital with a wide range of vibrant specialties and a committed team who work tirelessly to provide the best care for patients and develop and improve facilities where we can.
“The acquisition of Monaghan Row is another very welcome development for the hospital. This additional accommodation will allow us to free up much needed space to cope with the growing clinical demand and offer more potential to further develop services.
“We greatly appreciate the ongoing support of our community and political partners through the Daisy Hill Pathfinder and Daisy Hill Future groups who recognise the challenges we face in delivering health and social care and continue to work with us to secure and improve services for local people.”
The Council will retain partial use of one of the buildings through a two year lease agreement.
The Trust estates team and contractors are currently working on the Monaghan Row buildings to prepare for the relocation of staff and a scoping exercise is underway to agree how to make best use of space across both sites.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Michael Savage said, “We are pleased the Southern Health and Social Care Trust has confirmed its purchase of our Monaghan Row Site, and that the hospital will now be able to expand and develop its services. It is clear how highly valued the Daisy Hill Hospital is by our community.
“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has an ambitious regeneration programme in Newry including a new Civic and Regional Hub that will bring together Council staff who are currently accommodated in several buildings across the City.
“The sale of Monaghan Row will help facilitate these plans as part of the Newry City Centre Regeneration Project.
“Council have established an internal team to manage the transition from the Monaghan Row site and information will be issued to inform our customers on how to access services across the council sites in Newry.
“A planning application for the new Civic and Regional Hub in Newry has been submitted, is being processed and will be available to view on the NI Planning Portal.
“The council’s aim is to build a modern administrative centre befitting Newry’s city status, attracting footfall and spend into the city centre.
“A Belfast Region City Deal (BRCD) Contract for Funding was agreed in January 2023 for Newry City Centre Regeneration Projects supported by the Deal.
“These projects are the Theatre and Conference Centre and Civic and Regional Hub in Newry, for which £5 million BRCD funding has been allocated for its public realm, along with £3 million for a Grade A Office Accommodation Fund.”