Omagh disabled facility breaks ground

A new development that will significantly enhance respite services for disabled children and their families in Co Tyrone got underway this week.

The Northern Ireland Health Minister Michael McGimpsey cut the first sod at the £2.2million development, which is based at the former Omagh General Hospital site to provide short term breaks for children up to 18 years-of-age.

Commenting on the facility – which will be opened in 2011 – Mr McGimpsey said: “I am committed to providing integrated support services for children with disabilities and their families.

“We know that residential respite is an extremely important element of this support.

“The short term breaks this new development will provide will be vital, for not only looking after the needs of children with disabilities, but also provide much needed respite for parents and carers who require ongoing support to provide care.”

He continued: “Once completed this new development will provide a state of the art, child-friendly facility, which will enable children with complex needs, and their families, to avail of the opportunities and services they need and deserve.”

Chairman of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Mr Gerard Guckian added: “Following approval to proceed with the development of this new residential respite facility, we are delighted to welcome the Health Minister Mr McGimpsey on site to formally mark the start of construction.

“The work commencing today is a significant step towards providing families in the Omagh and Fermanagh areas with more children’s respite opportunities and overall will enhance respite services across the Western Trust.”