The new 40 bed Hospital, built at a cost of €8 million replaces the existing 24 bed facility providing a much enhanced environment for residents, staff and visitors. The new hospital is designed to provide residential care for people in the region as well as awide range of community supports, including convalescent, respite and hospice care.
Mr. Michael Fitzgerald, Area Manager, HSE Kerry said “This is a very special day for the people of Kenmare and surrounding areas and we are delighted to welcome the residents to their new home and staff to this wonderful new facility. While the move is not physically all that far in terms of distance as the new hospital has been built alongside the old hospital, the new Hospital is designed and built to ensure the utmost comfort and optimal care facilities for patients now and into the future. The transfer to the new Hospital is indeed an emotional one for all concerned and the new hospital together with the existing Primary Care Team services in South Kerry heralds a new era in heath care provision to the area.”
In addition to the new residential care beds that will be available, the facility also provides a mental health day care centre, as well as a new ambulance base for the local catchment area.The mental health day care centre will replace the existing, smaller mental health day care centre in Kilgarvan. These services will transfer in the coming weeks.
Margaret O’ Sullivan, A/Director of Nursing at Kenmare Community Hospital said, “The residents and staff have all been looking forward to the opening of the new hospital today. Whilst the old hospital has served people in the area well and the care the residents are receiving is second to none, the building can no longer meet the needs of those we care for. The staff have been working in a very challenging environment within the old hospital and I would like to particularly expressed my gratitude to them today for the continued support while construction of the new hospital was taking place”.
Ms. O’ Sullivan continued “The new hospital is built on two levels and has the comfort of older people in mind which will make an enormous difference to the lives of our residents. The hospital has its own landscaped garden areas for residents to enjoy and most importantly, people from the South Kerry area will be able to continue to avail oflong term care, respite and palliative care in their own area. In addition, the new unit has a specific Hospice Friendly suite for family and carers of relatives who require the service. The suitewhichfeatures aseparatesitting room, kitchenette, convertible sofa bed and its own toilet facilities has been made possible as a result of local donations and I want to pay tribute to all who fundraised for this suite over the years”.
Pat Healy, Regional Director of Operations, HSE South said “This is an important day for people in Kerry and for the HSE. The development of this facility has always been a priority for the HSE South. The new KenmareCommunity Hospitalwill make an important contribution to the quality of life of residents now, and into the future, as well forming a key element of health service provision for the region. Locating a number of additional HSE services on the Hospital campus is also significant for the local area and will further enhance health service delivery locally. I want to congratulate all those involved with this development and wish the residents and staff well in their new environment”.