Health officials working out deal for ROI patients at Altnagelvin

HEALTH officials are working out formal arrangements for the provision of Republic of Ireland (ROI) cancer patients with treatment at a brand new radiotherapy centre at Altnagelvin the Health Minister hopes will be opened by mid-2016.

Mr Poots said a planning application for the new cancer centre was submitted in December.

Detailed design work has already commence and is slated for completion by the summer.

The new radiotherapy unit is regarded as vital as existing services in Belfast are expected to be full to capacity by 2015.

SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan asked the Minister to provide an update on the radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital.

Mr Poots said enabling works for this project commenced on site in June 2012 and are planned for completion by late 2013.

“The design team commenced work with the Western Health and Social Care Trust (Trust) on Stage 1 Design of the new building in January 2012.

“This design stage was completed and signed off by the Trust in October 2012 and the planning application for the new unit was submitted to the Planning Service in mid December 2012,” he said.

He said health service officials from both sides of the border were working out arrangements for the treatment of patients from Donegal, Sligo, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan and other southern counties as required.

He explained: The Stage 2 Outline Business Case (OBC 2) was approved in August 2012. Departmental and ROI officials are currently working together to agree the formal arrangements for the provision of radiotherapy services to ROI patients.

“With regard to workforce planning, the Trust is working in close liaison with the Health and Social Care Board (HSCB)/Public Health Agency (PHA) to agree workforce requirements in the key staffing disciplines.

“The completion and operational date for the Radiotherapy Unit at Altnagelvin remains mid 2016.”