£50m Investment Into Care Infrastructure

Details of £50m capital investment into the health infrastructure in have been revealed. The plans were confirmed at a Board meeting of the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust, where the Health Minister Michael McGimpsey met with the Trust Board members.

The £50million investment includes improvements to, and the replacement of, buildings across the whole Trust area and all programmes of care. It will mean important investments at the Ulster Hospital, the new Downe Hospital, Lisburn Assessment Resource Centre, intensive support units for Children’s Services in Bangor and Newtownards and a major project to relocate Bayview Resource Centre.

Welcoming the investment, Michael McGimpsey said: “Health and social services are about people, and the people who use our services and work in them deserve and need to do so in a modern, safe and fit-for-purpose environment.

“I am delighted to say that with the introduction of the Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland, we are now seeing a major increase by my Department in investment in our health care infrastructure across Northern Ireland. Only five years ago, £70million was the annual spend on capital projects for my Department. This year we will spend £190million – almost treble that investment!

“This investment is not however a simple rebuild old buildings. It is a reform and modernisation programme that will give us a 21st Century infrastructure to provide care for our people, that embraces new technology, new models of care, and new ways of delivering better health and social care services.

The Minister continued: “I am delighted to say that this approach is clearly evident from the investment plans the South Eastern Trust have developed from the allocation my Department has made this year. The patient and end user has remained at the centre of their planning. I have welcomed the opportunity to meet with the South Eastern Trust to discuss these plans in more detail and wish them well throughout the implementation.”

The Chief Executive of the South Eastern Trust, Mr John Compton welcomed the Minister to the Trust meeting in Downpatrick and added: “We are a new Trust, and I’m happy to be able to announce this investment as we approach the six-month mark. It is positive evidence of our commitment to making things better for our patients and clients and their families. This sets us on our way to putting in place one element of the improvement in service provision that we were set up to achieve.

Mr Compton continued: “We have a full and exciting programme of works to undertake in the year ahead, and it will mean a significant amount of work for staff, and possibly some temporary upheaval. The amount of work that has already gone into securing the funding and planning how to spend it has been enormous. But I am confident that we will accomplish what we need to with the goal of improved services in improved surroundings very much in mind.”