Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Paschal Donohoe T.D., and Minister for Health, Simon Harris T.D, today (Friday, 10 June) broke ground on the Summerhill Primary Care Centre project – which is being delivered on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis, together with 13 similar centres in other locations across Ireland.
The project is being co-funded by the European Fund for Strategic Investments or EFSI, and is one of the first such projects in Ireland to receive EFSI support. It is also the first such project in Europe in the primary healthcare sector. EFSI funding represents a substantial contribution of up to 50% of the total €142 million financing required for the construction phase of this primary care centre PPP project.
Welcoming the project Minister Donohoe said “I am delighted to be here today to see the beginning of a much needed facility which will support the community of Summerhill, by providing excellent health services, and also support Government’s commitment to building a fair society to look after its people throughout their lives and encourage thriving communities”.
Minister Harris also warmly welcomed the project, noting that “the Summerhill Centre, together with the 13 others to be delivered as part of this PPP project bundle, will be completed in mid-2018 and will mean better care close to home for the local community.”
Minister Harris emphasised that, “developments like this demonstrate the Government’s determination to use a strong economy to build strong public services, and are essential to my vision for primary care and the central role it will play in improving the services that really matter to people. Centres like the one in Summerhill also help keep people out of hospital, confident that they can avail of a comprehensive range of health and social care services in their communities.”
The new Primary Care facility will be the base for the Summerhill Primary Care Team, who serve a population of almost 11,000, and the Inns Quay Primary Care team, who serve a population of over 14,000. In addition it will be the base for all Network Primary Care services covering the North Inner City serving a population of over 51,000.
Over 90 Primary Care Centres are already operational. A further 82 Centres are at varying stages of development and will, when completed, significantly enhance and expand capacity in the primary care sector to deliver a preventive, joined up approach to the management of the nation’s health and the modernisation of primary care delivery.
The project is based on the concept of ‘One project, fourteen communities’ and each centre has been designed to meet local needs and make a positive difference to the community within which it is located, while the design process has also sought to focus on elements such as energy conservation, materials selection, operational needs and maintenance requirements, all aimed at delivering value for money for the State.
The 14 Centres will allow people to access a range of health and social care services in their communities, including GP and community nursing services, speech, language and occupational therapy services, social work and home help services. The 14 centres will be open at least five days a week with extra hours at weekends and evenings for some services.
Of course, the commencement of the construction phase on this PPP also has wider implications – representing another important milestone in the Government’s programme of PPPs and bringing to 6 the number of PPPs in the new Programme launched in 2012 that are now at construction stage or beyond. This number will increase to 7 in the coming weeks as the Department of Education’s PPP Schools Bundle 5 is also due to reach construction stage very shortly.
Minister Donohoe noted that “the success achieved in bringing this first health sector PPP to construction stage paves the way for further similar projects in the future. The Capital Plan published last year includes provision for a second PPP project in the health sector, to a capital value of around €150m. Work is currently underway on selecting the most suitable project for procurement as the second Health PPP project and I look forward to working with Minister Harris to progress that project in the months and years ahead”.
The project is being delivered by the consortium comprised of Prime, Balfour Beatty and its investors Prime UK Holdings Ltd and HICL Infrastructure Company Ltd, which successfully tendered to undertake the 25 year (design, build, finance and maintain) contract.
Note for Editors
The following comprehensive range of health and social care services will be located in the new Summerhill facility –
- General Practice Services (2 GPs)
- Public Health/Community Nursing Services
- Occupational Therapy Services
- Physiotherapy Services
- Speech and Language Services
- Psychology Services
- Dietetic Services
- Social Work Services
- Home Help Services
- Dental Services
- Mental Health Day Hospital Service
- Early Intervention & School Age Services for children with Disabilities
- Meeting and administration accommodation
- Ambulance Services (located on the site in a separate building)
The facility will be approximately 5,000sqm net floor area provided on three floors above ground including a basement car park.