The Midland Regional Hospital in Portlaoise is set to expand with plans in place to build a new €5 million day unit and medical assessment unit at the site on the town’s Block Road.
The HSE have applied to Laois County Council for permission to construct a new two storey building providing a new acute medical assessment unit and day services unit together with a new link corridor within the existing main hospital building, with a total gross floor area of 1445m2. Three existing site cabins will also be relocated, and the application includes associated site and landscaping works.
The HSE has confirmed to the Leinster Express that the project is estimated to cost in the region of €5 million and is “subject to further considerations in the context of the overall strategic direction and capital funding”.
A & D Wejchert and Partners, architects behind the project, say that the new ten-bed acute medical assessment unit is a “necessary development” for the hospital, as is the 20-bed day unit.
In the architects’ report, it is explained that the new building is situated to allow connectivity to the main hospital and to allow for future expansion of the hospital to the south of the new building and future expansion to the west on adjoining HSE lands across the other side of the Block Road. Also included will be a hospital street which may in the future be extended across these lands and above the Block Road.
The new building will be located close to the existing windows in the hospital and mental health unit and issues of fire safety, daylight and privacy are addressed by use of fire resistant construction, positioning the new building four metres away from the main hospital and providing integral privacy blinds on all new windows.
The report states that the existing 459 car parking spaces will be sufficient to cater for the new building.
The main hospital was built between 1933 - 1941 and replaced the original county infirmary building built in 1808. Over the years additional buildings have been added, the most prominent being a one to three storey mental health facility built in the late ‘90s, while a waste management structure was added in 2000.
A decision is due from Laois County Council by April 30.