HSE bid to shift centre a worry

by Ian Begley

THE opening of a proposed new primary care centre at Ballyowen Castle could see the health centre in Lucan village move to these premises, much to the objection of local politicians.
In a letter from the HSE to Cllr William Lavelle (FG), who asked for further information on the proposed primary care centre because of the “lack of information” in its planning description, a HSE official said the health service was committed to providing a “modern and accessible” facility in Ballyowen.
“In this regard, it is anticipated that the HSE primary care services currently based in Rossecourt and in the health centre in Lucan village will relocate to the new facility [in Ballyowen Castle if approved].”
Cllr Lavelle is objecting to the “threatened removal” of the health service from the village.
He said: “It would a be a blow to the village and would adversely affect users of the centre, including the large catchment of older residents living in close proximity; and who would not have the option of a bus link from the village to Ballyowen Castle.
“I fully support the delivery of new primary care services for the areas of Lucan south of the N4, as long as they are located in an appropriate setting.”
Cllr Lavelle also has concerns about the four-storey height of the proposed centre and its impact on the area’s character.
Other concerns include the loss of parking spaces in the area and the inadequacy of the traffic impact assessment which, he says, is based on “out-of-date” traffic count data from 2012.
According to the HSE, the proposed facility will include services such as nursing, counselling, physiotherapy, social work, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, dieticians, chiropody and podiatry services.
Rooms will be available on a bookable basis to allied medical providers and for group sessions in areas such as public health, breastfeeding, and smoking cessation.
“Community needs will be assessed and reviewed on a continual basis by primary care staff,” the letter stated.
The HSE said it had agreed to lease space in this facility if it was given the go-ahead to develop the primary care centre.
In answer to a question put by Cllr Lavelle on the HSE’s role, if any, in management of the facility, the HSE responded by saying responsibility for the facility would rest with the “landlord”.
“HSE as tenants of this facility will participate in any management company as set up by the landlord for the management of the facility.
“The HSE will be responsible for the primary care services delivered from this facility.”
Submissions and observations on the planning application closed earlier this week.
A decision on whether the facility at the corner of Ballyowen Lane and Castle Road, Ballyowen Shopping Centre, will get the green light will be made by the planning department at South Dublin County Council.
According to the planning application, a decision is due later this month, on March 23.

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