The Western Health and Social Care Trust have confirmed that a creche will be operational in the future at South West Acute Hospital (SWAH).

Answering several questions from this paper the Trust confirmed that the space will continue to be used as a creche in the future and a tender process has begun to find a new occupant.

The first tender process was carried out by Northern Ireland Health Group (NIHG). NIHG are a private company. The trust signed a 30-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract with NIHG in 2009. SWAH opened its doors in 2012.

PFI contracts have been extremely controversial as it sees an enormous amount of interest paid back.

It is claimed that SWAH’s capital value was £223.9 million and it cost £267 million to build. But, the 2016 HM Treasury PFI database shows that, by 2042, almost £700 million of tax payers’ money will have been paid for SWAH.

In a press release from the Trust when the hospital opened it stated:

“The Trust’s PFI partner, the Northern Ireland Health Group (NIHG) through their maintenance and management service partner Interserve FM will maintain the building under contract for the next 30 years.”