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New £4.7m hospital extension unveiled

WORK has got  underway on a new £4.7 million development at Craigavon Area Hospital.

The project will see an extension to the Bluestone Unit, providing an enhancement of patient facilities to those with a mental health illness and learning disability.

Our artist’s impression shows how the new 10-bed adult learning disability assessment and 10-bed psychiatric intensive care unit will look.

They are being designed to complement the current 74 beds at the Bluestone Unit, which provides a therapeutic patient-centred recovery model for people most in need of in-patient services.

Francis Rice, Director of Mental Health and Disability Services at the Southern Trust, said he was delighted that work was now starting on this “exciting development”.

“Patients will experience an enhanced therapeutic environment in a secure setting and will have access to single en-suite rooms and internal courtyard spaces,” he explained. “The new facilities will be suitably designed to provide privacy and dignity to both patients and visitors alike.”

The first phase will involve works to car parks surrounding the current site. The car park to the rear of the Bluestone site will be extended and a further park created adjacent to the main entrance of the building, to provide spaces displaced due to building works.

Mr Rice added: “As with any building project, it is expected there will be some level of potential disruption for patients, visitors and staff, but every effort has been made to keep these to a minimum and we thank the public for their patience during the work.

“The development programme will last 16 months, but services will continue to operate as normal.”

The design team appointed to the 1824 square metre extension project is Milligan Reside Larkin Chartered Architects and Farrans Construction is the appointed contractor.

The work is due to be completed by June 2014.

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