€36m nursing home development to create 270 new jobs in Tullamore

Camilla McLoughlin

Reporter:

Camilla McLoughlin

€36m nursing home development to create 270 new jobs in Tullamore

An architect's impression of the planned nursing home, rehabilitation and step down facility planned for Tullamore

JOHN Flanagan Developments Ltd, is set to lodge a planning application this week for a massive 244 bedroom nursing home/rehabilitation and step down facility in Tullamore.
The 4 storey development will be located on the site known locally as Wellwood Health Park just off the Tullamore N52 by-pass on an area measuring 13,000m2.

The large scale 14,000m2 building which is designed by Axis Architecture and Fearon O'Neill structural engineers will sit on a 5 acre site, and provide 197 car parking spaces,

Costing in the region of €36 million to develop, if given planning permission, it will employ around 270 people across all shifts.

Using the same design team as the one employed on the original private hospital project, the nursing home will utilise the familiar existing steel frame structure and will be a welcome feature as one enters the town coming from the M6 which carries more than 14,000 vehicles per day.

John Flanagan Developments Ltd originally planned a private hospital on this site back in 2007. It did not proceed due to the global economic crash despite huge interest from leading medical operators from around Europe.

A statement form John Flanagan Developments Ltd said :''The rationale for developing a Nursing home/Rehabilitation/Step down facility makes sense on the Health Care Park. Nationally there is a huge shortage of nursing homes and hospital beds. The 2016 Census showed the population aged over 65 has increased by 19.1pc since 2011 and the projection is that the number of people over the age of 80 will have risen by 130,000 by the end of 2020. Healthcare experts predict a total shortfall of 7,500 nursing home beds nationwide by 2026.

''People over 80 use the health services more and the costs of care for that cohort are two to three times of those under 60.

''International figures suggest that between 18pc and 22pc of over 84-year-olds need residential long-term care. It’s very positive people are living longer but with that there are challenges.

Stepdown/Rehabilitation also makes sense due to the growing body of evidence that rehabilitation in specialised environments is not only effective but cost effective. This has been demonstrated in a variety of settings, such as in-patient units and community teams, and in different diagnostic groups.

''John Flanagan Developments are in contact with numerous interested operators via their agents who see the potential of the facility due to, scale, proximity of the development to the Regional Hospital, its location off the N52 and the location of Tullamore in the centre of the country is all very positive.''