Sun reflects mood as new hospital opens

Thursday, 22 June 2017

Sun reflects mood as new hospital opens thumbnailRelaxing in the surrounds of his room in the rehabilitation ward at the new Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex yesterday, (Tuesday) following his transfer from Tyrone County Hospital, is Dromore man, Phillip Ryan, with nursing assistant, Kerry Ward.

THE glorious sunshine yesterday (Tuesday) reflected the mood of the staff at the new Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex as they welcomed patients and visitors through the doors for the first time.

Patients began to make the short journey by ambulance and disabled-friendly mini-buses from the Tyrone County Hospital to the state-of-the-art 110 million facility from around 8am. It is the end of an area for the 'County', which was built 118 years ago.

The transfer, which only took around two hours, went smoothly with 29 patients in total transported from the palliative care, rehabilitation and the cardiac assessment units.

It signals a new chapter in the history of healthcare for thousands of patients in the Omagh area and beyond who are set to benefit from the new facility.

Once settled into his single bedroom, which offers wonderful scenic views of the Camowen River and has a balcony, a patient in the rehabilitation unit hailed the facility as "first class".

Philip Ryan, who lives in the Dromore area, said: "The transfer from the 'County' to the new hospital could not have been handled better. Look at this place - you couldn't ask for better. It's like a hotel. I absolutely love the view from the room."

Mr Ryan had spent a week in the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen and then some weeks in the Tyrone County Hospital.

"They are both good facilities but I'm most impressed with this new hospital," he said. "I've only here for a couple of hours but I'm settling in well. The staff are very good, and if you haven't got good staff, you may as well give up."

The new facility, located on the Donaghanie Road, has clearly been designed with the needs of patients and clients in mind.

It will provide clinical care and treatment to patients and clients in modern, well designed surroundings, using the latest technologies and equipment.  It will also provide hospital and community healthcare services previously delivered in the Tyrone County Hospital.

The four GP practices currently based at Omagh Health Centre will also transfer to the new hospital on Monday, June 26, with all primary, secondary and community healthcare services conveniently located within the one building.

Also speaking to the Tyrone Constitution, Dr Ronan O'Hare, assistant director for South West Acute Hospital and Omagh hospitals, was pleased with how the opening day had gone.

"There had been months of planning between ourselves and the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service for this day. It's a credit to the staff and the way they have prepared for bringing the new Omagh hospital to life. So far, everything has gone smoothly.

"It is an emotional day for the staff, but they also realise that this is a new hospital that patients and the community deserve. This is the culmination of 10 years of extensive planning and consultation.

"The Western Trust have had 800m invested in recent years between Altnagelvin, the South West Acute and the Omagh hospital. We are extremely lucky to have such a facility. The Trust has gone to great lengths to ensure this facility is fit for purpose moving into the future.

"Anyone with any doubts about the new hospital, I ask them to come and experience this new facility, and most importantly, to see what the staff bring to this new facility.

"If you look around at the nursing staff and health professionals, all of them are smiling. The weather definitely reflects the mood.

"We will always recognise the immense contribution the Tyrone County Hospital has made to the community over the years and we are mindful of this. Excitement, though, has taken over as staff look forward to providing services in our new hospital."

The director of Acute Hospitals, Geraldine McKay, said this is a "very exciting time for staff, patients and the wider community".

She added: "The complex is now officially open and we are committed to providing high quality care in this tremendous new facility. I would like to thank everyone involved in this project and those who have worked tirelessly to make this happen ensuring a seamless transition from the Tyrone County Hospital to their new surroundings."


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