Friday, 6 September 2019

Questions (1172, 1204)

Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1172. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the status of plans for the development of a new endoscopy unit at Naas hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36057/19]

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Fiona O'Loughlin

Question:

1204. Deputy Fiona O'Loughlin asked the Minister for Health the reason for the delays in the planned expansion of Naas General Hospital; the further reason an extension was required for planning permission; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [36275/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 1172 and 1204 together.

The Health Service Executive recently published its Capital Plan for 2019-2021 outlining 250 projects to be progressed over the three-year period.

The Capital Plan includes a number of projects at Naas General Hospital, including the development of new units for endoscopy, day procedures, physical medicine and oncology, for which planning permission has been granted.

The Capital Plan also includes a new acute mental health unit, for which the design team been appointed and the design is being progressed with a view to making an application for planning permission in the first half of 2020.

It is important to note that all proposals must progress through a number of approval stages, in line with the Public Spending Code. The final decision to proceed with the construction of a project cannot be made until the tender process has been completed and the costings reviewed to ensure that the proposal delivers value for money and remains affordable, and that sufficient funding is available to fund the project to completion, including equipping and commissioning costs.

The delivery of capital projects is a dynamic process and is subject to the successful completion of the various approval stages, which can impact on the timeline for delivery. In some instances, this can necessitate an extension of the planning permission, as in the case of Naas General Hospital.

The HSE actively manages the capital programme in order to ensure it has flexibility to progress as many projects as possible within the available funding, particularly in the event of any project not progressing as anticipated.