The HSE has submitted a planning application to build a new 50-bed residential centre for the elderly in Clonmel to replace the existing St Anthony's Unit on the Western Road.
The project is part of the Government's plan to replace or upgrade up to 90 long stay residential care centres nationwide to meet all Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) standards. It will increase the number of HSE residential care beds for the elderly in Clonmel by 29 as the current St Anthony's Unit has 21 beds.
Tipperary Co. Council received the application for the two-storey 4,422 sqm community nursing and residential care unit on August 12. The application is currently at the pre-validation stage.
According to the application, the new residential care unit will comprise 50 en-suite bedrooms with dining rooms, kitchenettes, day rooms, sun rooms, an activities room and quiet rooms. It's proposed the unit will also have a family overnight room, treatment room, hairdressing room internal courtyards and first floor terrace spaces, a kitchen and laundry, staff accommodation, office space.
The HSE is proposing access to the residential care unit from a four-arm roundabout on the Glenconnor Road, the realignment of the existing entrance and boundary walls to South Tipperary General Hospital.
The roundabout will require the demolition of a derelict house called Hillview and two outbuildings. The residential care unit will be served by a 26sqm ESB sub-station. The application also proposes the existing road adjacent to the Western Road will become pedestrian only.
A HSE spokesperson said it is currently considering developing the new Clonmel residential care unit for the elderly under the Public Private Partnership model.
Clonmel Independent TD Seamus Healy has welcomed the submission of the planning application, which was expected. The project was announced in 2017.
He cautioned though that funding has still to be approved for the development of the residential care unit. Deputy Healy said he expects the construction of this new unit and other new health capital projects will be delayed because of the overrun in the cost of building the new National Children's Hospital.
Meanwhile, a design team is also progressing plans for a new 60-bed residential care/community nursing unit on a site adjacent to the existing St Patrick's Hospital building in Cashel.
A planning application has yet to be lodged for this project. The HSE spokesperson said the new unit will comprise two 25-bed wards and a 10 bed unit for people suffering from dementia.
The 60-bed unit will replace the current 26 bed St Anne's and St Bernadette's wards and 23 bed St Benedict's Ward at St Patrick's Hospital.
This will represent an increase of 11 beds on the current accommodation.
The new 60 bed unit will operate alongside the 21-bed rehabilitation unit on the site of St Patrick's Hospital and 11 bed St Claire's Ward on the grounds of Our Lady's Hospital nearby.