Originally constructed in 1800, the category B1 listed building was home to 15 social work staff but was not fully occupied.
With a number of new community based teams being set up throughout the Trust, the need for staff accommodation led to the redevelopment of the building which had become tired and outdated.
Mark Bloomer, Assistant Director of Estates Services for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust explains: “Having undergone numerous repairs over the years, there was a real need to invest in the fabric of this old building.
“However the restrictions of its listed status did present a challenge in making it suitable for staff accommodation.
“Our estates team and contractors have worked hard and with great creativity to make the most of the space and restore some of its former glory.
“They have refurbished all the rooms including a disused basement and the building can now accommodate 50 staff across three floors.
“We would particularly like to thank the staff using the building for their co-operation in moving around offices to allow the contractors to do their work and are absolutely delighted with the outcome.
“The concealed cabling and minimal décor helps to show off traditional features like sash windows, wooden panelling and cast iron radiators, making this a lovely environment to work in.”
District Nurses and Occupational Therapists from Newry and South Armagh Integrated Care Team who were formerly based at John Mitchel Place and Bessbrook Clinic have now joined their Social Work colleagues in the new Ivybrook accommodation.
The Integrated Care Team is a Community Service primarily delivering care to clients in their own homes.
Staff are now benefitting from greater peer support and better allocation of workload from sharing the same base and this improved communication and multidisciplinary working between the team should enhance the service for older people across the area.
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