Health Minister lays brick at €11 million primary health care centre

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Express Reporter

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Martin Hayden, TD, Ann O'Shea, Chief Officer (CHO7) HSE, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD and James Buckley, Axis Group

Minister for Health Simon Harris TD has visited the Athy Primary Care Centre development to review progress on the facility which is being developed on a public private basis. 

The €11 million development on the Dublin Road will host HSE primary care services including public health nursing, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, dietetics, community network disability team, counselling and Child and Adolescent Mental Heath Services as well as a GP Practice and McCauley Health and Beauty Pharmacy Group will be operating the pharmacy on site. Tusla will also occupy significant space within the centre.  

Speaking at the site, Minister for Health Simon Harris TD said this primary care centre will provide a really wide range of services for the community in Athy and the surrounding area, and it has been designed to be an age-friendly facility in line with the Kildare Age Friendly Programme.

"Looking at the construction progress today, we can begin to see the scale of the centre and the impact that it will have in this region for the rollout of best practice healthcare services in the community,” she said.

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More than 50 people are employed in the construction phase of the almost 4,000m2 sq development in Athy.  Developed and managed by Axis Group, a leader in facilities management of Primary Health Care Centres in Ireland, on behalf of UK based Primary Health Properties plc (PHP), the facility is expected to be handed over to the HSE in January 2020.

Ann O'Shea HSE Chief Officer for Community Healthcare Dublin South, Kildare and West Wicklow noted that the HSE is happy to see the building proceed.

"The staff of the HSE are looking forward to providing their services to clients in a purpose built modern facility. The age friendly facility is our opportunity to ensure all need of the community we serve are best met and the HSE will continue to engage with our communities to ensure this fine facility is best used for the local population," she said.

James Buckley is Managing Director of the Axis Group.

“This development will be an important healthcare asset for Athy and the region, a custom-built, best in class facility that meets the needs of every age group and diverse healthcare needs.  We have seen the enormous impact that Primary Health Care Centres have in their communities, through our other managed healthcare centres in Ireland and we look forward to opening this centre in Kildare in the coming year,” he said.

Quinn Architects are responsible for the design of the Athy Primary Care Centre, while Conack Construction won the contract to build the 3 storey healthcare building. 

Athy Primary Care Centre is being delivered via the HSE’s Operational Lease model. This mechanism facilitates primary care services being provided by both the public and private sector (HSE and General Practitioners) on an integrated basis. The private sector provides for the Primary Care Team (PCT) infrastructure with the HSE taking fixed term leases for their portion of the facilities.

The new facility will house HSE primary care services incorporating public health nursing / community nursing; Speech and Language Therapy;  Physiotherapy; Occupational Therapy; Psychology; Dietetics; Social Work and CiPC (Counselling in Primary Care).

In addition to this, a Community Network Disability Team will be housed in the new Primary Care Centre as part of the rollout of the Progressing Disability Services for Children and Young People programme. The CHO CAMHS service will also have access to bookable rooms in the centre.

A local GP practice with 5 general practitioners, Barrow View medical practice, will be co-located within the Primary Care Centre and there are plans for a pharmacy in the development also.

It is due to be completed by early 2020.