Written Answers. - Hospital Services.

Nora Owen


637 Mrs. Owen asked the Minister for Health and Children the moneys which have been spent on renovations and improvements in St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane, County Dublin; the amount of the £13 million announced in 1997 which has actually been expended; the facilities which will be available in St. Ita's for people with multiple disabilities such as autism and mental handicap; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20471/00]

As the Deputy is aware, the Eastern Regional Health Authority is responsible for the delivery of services by St. Ita's Hospital, Portrane. The £13 million project referred to by the Deputy relates to the development of new and refurbished facilities for persons with an intellectual disability currently accommodated in St. Ita's Hospital. This plan is being jointly funded by the Eastern Regional Health Authority and my Department.

As part of this project new residential and day services have been completed in Oldtown, County Dublin and are currently being commissioned. This new facility will provide accommodation for 30 persons from the St. Ita's campus. The capital costs to date associated with this development are approximately £3 million with additional revenue costs of £600,000 provided by my Department.

The work of the project and design teams on an overall development control plan for the hospital campus, which includes new accommodation to be provided for the intellectual disability services, is at an advanced stage. In addition to the £3 million mentioned above, capital funding of £500,000 in 1999 and a further £1 million this year has been allocated by my Department towards the costs associated with the improvement of existing accommodation at St. Ita's for this client group. It is anticipated that the planning and tendering process for the new units will be completed by early 2001 with building commencing on site towards the end of the first quarter of that year. As the Deputy will appreciate, the bulk of the expenditure will be incurred once this building work commences.