Plans for new £73m, 144-bed faciltity at Altnagelvin

The entrance to the new 144-bed block at Altnagelvin.

The entrance to the new 144-bed block at Altnagelvin.

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A planning application has been lodged for the creation of a 144-bed new North Wing building at Altnagelvin Area Hospital.

Submitted by the Western Health and Social Care Trust, the project will cost in the region of £73m.

An artist's impression of the new 144-bed facility at Altnagelvin.

An artist's impression of the new 144-bed facility at Altnagelvin.

The new building will incorporate six in-patient ward areas and a new main entrance to the hospital.

The building has been designed in a way that ensures patients receive their care and treatment in a modern clinical and therapeutic environment, compliant with statutory and regulatory standards.

“Subject to securing planning approval and confirmation of funding, we anticipate an award of contract for the North Wing facility and commencement of construction on site by late 2015,” said Western Trust chief executive Elaine Way.

“The new building is the first step of a major project to upgrade accommodation for all inpatient services currently located in the tower block of the hospital. A particular effort has been made to deliver a phased approach to the project to ensure safe continuation of services on the hospital site at all times.

“The site for the North Wing is located adjacent to the existing hospital tower block. We have already commenced enabling works to allow a smoother transition for when construction of the North Wing building can actually begin. This has involved relocating some buildings on site and the construction of the multi-storey car park, due to open in Autumn 2015. These are exciting times for the hospital with the development of the radiotherapy unit and now North Wing. The Trust is delighted to be able to deliver services from the most modern patient centred facilities.

Thanking staff and public for their cooperation and support, she said all necessary steps would be taken to minimise disruption and patients services and so ensure that clinics would remain fully operational at all times.

If approved, there will be six wards on three storeys, with support facilities.

The build will allow for the relocation of 144 patient beds from the existing tower block at Altnagelvin.

The application includes a proposal for a three-storey main entrance to the hospital, with set down and pick up zones at the entrance for pedestrians, disabled, public and private vehicles, the reconfiguration of the existing roundabout, patient transfer to the rear of the building, as well as associated landscaping and internal courtyards.

The application also includes provision of a new stand-by generator, basement services and new basement tunnel connecting to the existing subterranean tunnel network at the site.

It will result in the demolition of the existing carpark and the two storey elderly care building.