Work is due to get under way soon on a new £40m state-of-the-art health centre at Lagan Valley Hospital in Lisburn.
The 12,792 square metre primary and community care centre for Lisburn will integrate eight GP practices currently located in the Lisburn health centre, and will be responsible for the care of around 50,000 patients.
The new hub for primary and community care services is expected to be open to patients in the summer of 2021.
It will feature treatment room suites with modern minor procedures rooms, a children’s services centre, specialist dentistry, podiatry and orthoptics services, adult mental health services, addiction services, lymphoedema services and range of other facilities.
The South Eastern Health Trust has awarded the contract for the new centre to GPG O’Hare.
Work will begin this month to divert utilities and demolish existing buildings at the site, with construction due to commence in April 2019.
The trust’s chief executive Hugh McCaughey said the centre would improve early intervention, bring services closer to the patients’ home and help to reduce hospital admissions.
“This will allow for even better joined up working between our staff and local GP practices and deliver better outcomes for our patients,” he added.
Mark Lee, primary care director at the Department of Health said the project would “radically reform the way services are designed and delivered”.
“Going forward the people of Lisburn and the surrounding areas will be able to access a wide range of specialist services, care and support in the community setting,” he continued.
Cathal O’Hare, director of OHMG, the Newry-based firm which will carry out the building work, said the facility will be a “magnificent addition not only to the Lagan Valley Hospital, but also to the city and the well-being of people in the greater Lisburn area”.
The company has been involved in the construction of a number of community care facilities, the latest of which was the health centre in Ballymena which opened in 2016.
Construction of the new centre will provide employment for approximately 250 people, representing a major economic boost for the Lisburn region.
A South Eastern Trust spokesperson added: “This project is proceeding as a 3rd Party Development (3PD) project, in line with the ministerial direction given by the former health minister in 2013.”