WHILE attending a tree-planting ceremony at Bandon Community Hospital earlier this week to mark the construction of a new unit, Minister for Health, Simon Harris said he was pleased to see that works for the Bandon Flood Relief Scheme have finally commenced.
‘When I was here in Bandon the last time, there was an understandable palpable frustration,’ he said, ‘and I remember meeting with tradespeople, whose resilience was quite unbelievable in the face of huge adversity.
‘I said to them then that we would get this over the line. This was always a funded project but it ran into a bit of difficulty, but I’m pleased to see that it is now over the line.’
Minister Harris said he and his colleague Deputy Jim Daly promised that they would have shovels in the ground and that is now happening.
‘Obviously, we need the scheme to be completed as quickly as possible, and that’s my absolute intention and I understand the Council and the OPW are working very well together.’
Minister Harris added that it must be a huge ‘relief’ to the people of Bandon and now their community hospital was getting much-needed investment.
‘After about 40 years waiting for investment in the hospital, we are here for €3.5m which will dramatically improve the living conditions of the residents,’ he said.
‘It’s so clear that residents are well looked after here with excellent and dedicated staff, but you need modern facilities and you need more single rooms and you need more communal rooms and outdoor garden space, and all that is being done.’
The Minister also paid special mention to the Friends of Bandon Community Hospital, who have raised €270,000, which he described as an incredible amount, and this was echoed by Gabrielle O’Keeffe, head of social care, Community Healthcare Organisation (CHO) for Cork and Kerry who also spoke at the ceremony.
The new unit at the community hospital includes two day rooms, a dining room, facilities for families of palliative-care residents, new clinical and therapy facilities and two enclosed gardens.