Kevin Kelly, HMD architect, preparing to open the door of the new Bayview Medical Centre in the Rath Mor Centre. (Photo - Deirdre Heaney, nwpresspics)
A state-of-the-art medical practice is to open at the Ráth Mór Centre in Creggan over the coming weeks, DerryNow can reveal.
The new community health facility will include a doctors surgery and multi-disciplinary team (MDT) facilities for mental health, social care and physiotherapy.
It will address a 50-year gap in professional health care provision for 25,000 people in Creggan and surrounding areas.
The hub has been strategically developed and located by Creggan Enterprises (CE) at the Ráth Mór Centre, in the heart of the community.
The purpose-built 6,000 square feet facility includes three GP consulting rooms, a trainee GP room, two treatment rooms where minor surgery can be carried out and a clinical space. In addition, there will be a physio, counselling and interview rooms, a spacious training room and a large modern reception area with room for a children’s play area.
The new hub will have dedicated parking and ambulance spaces and is fully accessible via its own dedicated entrance at the side of the Rath Mor Centre -equipped with an elevator.
Founder and development executive of CE, Conal McFeely, who has been championing this project since 1994, when the organisation first outlined its Strategy for Need programme in Creggan, said he was “delighted” they had at last managed to deliver this project – albeit from CE’s own resources.
Mr McFeely said the Creggan community had “suffered” as a result of the distinct absence of GP provision, last located in Creggan in the early 1970s when the then part-time provision was shut down.
The project has been designed and built locally by HMD Architects and Aileach Valley Construction (AVC).
AVC and Creggan Enter- prises applied social clauses within the building contract to ensure that local young people were given the opportunity to gain valuable experience and find work within the building industry.
CE took the opportunity to congratulate and thank its local design and building team for their work in completing the project to such a high quality standard.
The new medical hub will complement the many health and wellbeing enhancing projects and services which are already provided at Ráth Mór.
These include the WHSCT Condition Management Team, WHSCT Mobile Breast Screening Unit, North West Counselling Services, the WHSCT Oak Tree Centre, Medicare Pharmacy, CE’s Lifehack (youth) Project, CE’s Focus (women’s) Project, Hive Studio’s Assistive Technology Programme, Ráth Mór Over 50s Cub and Older Men’s Well Being Group, to name but a few.
Mr McFeely described the new medical hub as “one of the final pieces of the jigsaw” in terms of Creggan Enterprises’ overall vision for the community.
He said: “As a charity with a strong social enterprise ethos, we sought to create a one-stop shop to meet the economic, social, community, educational, environmental, and now, health needs of our community. We have now put together a pioneering health and well-being centre that will deliver first-class health care for the Creggan community and beyond for the 21st century.”
Moreover, Creggan Enterprises has put in place, with the support of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Dublin and the Housing Executive, a new environmental improvement strategy at Ráth Mór, which includes new lighting, outdoor seating, land- scaping, an outdoor gallery and improved parking facilities, all designed and intended to complement the new medical hub.
“I would like to thank the Ráth Mór board of directors for their vision, generosity and long-term commitment towards this project and also to acknowledge and reinforce the importance of Creggan Enterprises’ sustainable social economy structure for self-financing this vital project on the community’s behalf.
“We also would like to thank past directors, staff members and the local community for seeing this leading-edge facility through to fruition,” Mr McFeely added.
CE is partnering with the HSC Board and Bayview Medical Practice, and are looking forward to them delivering first class health services in this innovative and brand-new medical facility.Mr
Concluding Mr McFeely said: “This community medical practice facility at Ráth Mór provides a unique oppor- tunity for statutory and social partners to work alongside Creggan Enterprises to pursue our social economy mission of sustainable com- munity wellbeing provision, regeneration and renewal.”
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