THE tender process has started for a new design team for the mental health unit at Naas General Hospital.
The HSE confirmed just before Christmas that due to a significant expansion of project scope and cost increases, the then appointed design team’s engagement was stopped.
They confirmed on Thursday that they are now in the process of procuring a new design team for the expanded project.
“HSE Estates has begun a tender process for a design team for this project and a number of tenders have been received,” said a spokesperson.
“Once a successful tender has been chosen, HSE Estates will progress to the next stage of the process.”
Lakeview Unit in Naas Hospital was built in the 1980’s when the population of Kildare West Wicklow was 138,000. It now serves a population of close to 242,000.
Fianna Fáil TD for South Kildare, Fiona O’Loughlin, criticised the overruns on the National Children’s hospital, saying she believes this is the reason behind the delay with the Naas unit.
“In 2017 it was confirmed to me by the Minister that €5.5m investment in services at Lakeview, Naas was allocated and a design team was appointed and expected completion was 2019,” she said.
“We are now at in January 2019 and the design team that was appointed has been terminated. and does not have the infrastructure to cater for that population size.
“Infrastructure needs to be improved and a stand- alone mental health unit is urgently needed. This new delay in the development of a new unit is very worrying for my constituents who avail of the mental health services provided by Naas General Hospital and when we see the cost of the New Children Hospital continuing to spiral it seems clear as to why there is a delay in the mental health hospital.”
“The complete mismanagement of the whole situation is shocking. HSE management must be held accountable when we see other projects being delayed and overspending across the board”.