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Slow development of ageing centre of excellence

Resource type: News

Irish Medical News |

Original Source

The Centre of Excellence for Successful Ageing at St. James’s Hospital, Dublin is an Atlantic grantee.

Written by Paul Mulholland

The development of the Centre of Excellence for Successful Ageing at St James’s Hospital, Dublin, has been hampered as a result of the economic climate.

Speaking to IMN, Clinical Director of the Department of Medicine for the Elderly at St James’s Hospital Prof Davis Coakley said that while negotiations are at an advanced stage with the Department of Health and the HSE for a building for the Centre, the provision of additional funding remains a difficult issue given the current state of the public finances.

For the project to proceed, Prof Coakley said it is vital that the Hospital receives additional funding to the €16.8 million provided by the Atlantic Philanthropies Group in January 2007.

“The slow progress has been frustrating,” Prof Coakley conceded.

“Obviously, this crisis has affected it. What we need is further financial support, which we hope will be provided in the near future.”

A design team to develop the proposal is still not in place even though the HSE National Director of Estates advised that one be appointed in June 2007.

However, Prof Coakley said he hopes that a team would be established shortly to move the project forward.

The Centre will consist of a purpose-built environment, using advances in architectural design for buildings for older people and will house early diagnostic and rapid access ambulatory care clinics as well as inpatient acute assessment, rehabilitation and continuing care units.

An independent cost benefit analysis, which was commissioned by the HSE, found that the development was a “very robust project” with significant socio-economic positive outcomes.

The report concluded that the proposal to build a new centre would still show a positive outcome even if the cost was eight times higher and the benefits were as low as 23 per cent of those estimated in the report.