Five years left on ‘temporary site’ lease

THERE are five years left on the existing lease for the ‘temporary’ Outpatients Department of Letterkenny University Hospital at Justice Walsh Road, it has emerged.
The issue was raised by Councillor Gerry McMonagle at this week’s meeting of the Regional Health Forum West.
The Sinn Fein representative asked when the LUH outpatient services would be returned to the Hospital campus. He also sought a finish date for all other works currently on-going at Letterkenny University Hospital.
Last month, the Donegal News learned that it is now costing the HSE almost €200,000 a year to rent the ‘temporary’ Outpatients Department in Scally Place, Justice Walsh Road. At that time they declined to comment on the duration of the lease.
The premises at Justice Walsh Road has been home to 27 modern dedicated clinic rooms since the existing facility at the hospital suffered significant flood damage at the end of July 2013.
Outpatient clinics continue to be provided on both the LUH campus as well as in the main LUH Outpatient Department located in Scally Place.
Last year there were 42,291 outpatient attendances at the clinics. The number of attendances for these clinics in 2014 was 36,093.
According to Ms Ann Cosgrove, COO, Saolta University Health Care Group, the off-site facility for the LUH main outpatient department, which was commissioned immediately after the 2013 flood, has provided significant capacity to meet the growing demand for outpatient clinics at LUH.
“The existing lease is a 10 year lease with a clause to terminate before then should an alternative solution be identified. Following completion of the radiology projects, there will be a review undertaken of the Development Control Plan for the Letterkenny site to prioritise key projects for progression, including a new outpatients facility,” Ms Cosgrove said.
In relation to ongoing projects, Cllr McMonagle was told that radiology construction works should be complete by March 2019 with a period for commissioning to follow.
“This project should be complete and fully operational by next summer.
“Subject to funding, we hope that the Mortuary project will be ready to commence in late 2018 and be complete by mid 2019,” Ms Cosgrove added.
The present costs are as follows: Rental is €197,500 per annum while managed service costs (lifts/general area) is € 26,988 per annum. The original rent (€81,000 per annum) was at a greatly reduced rate for a period of two years due to the fact that the HSE provided capital to fit out a ‘shell and core’ building.

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