CONCERNS have been raised again over the state of buildings at Lisnaskea Health Centre after roof leaks from a period of rain caused major flooding in the practice.

An anonymous source contacted The Impartial Reporter and told this newspaper that they were concerned for the safety of patients and staff as a result of flooding in the Health Centre that they witnessed earlier late last week.

Concerns were raised after water dripped through light fittings, skylight and ceiling tiles.
The centre was built in the town in the 1970s. In 2017, this newspaper reported that roof tiles had fallen after a period of rain.

Currently the health centre is undergoing maintenance work by the Western Health and Social Care Trust on the roof, but the wet weather over several days last week saw internal flooding.

The Trust-owned building is currently leased to the practice from the Department of Health.
Our photos show that parts of the ceiling has fallen in parts of the health centre, that water has pooled on the floor, and that staff members have to put protective sheets over their computers and other equipment so there is no water damage.

There is an electric risk as there are exposed wires in parts of the health centre, as well as sets of switches that are not allowed to be turned on, due to any potential risk of dangerous electrical faults.

The management of the Maple Healthcare Practice have been asking for a new building from the Department for several years; however, as of yet, the Department has not announced a new building for the health centre.

A representative from Maple Healthcare said: “We have been very concerned by the state of the building fabric for years, and this latest episode again highlights the urgent need for a new building to serve our patients.
“The replacement is likely to be three years away.
“Currently, the majority of our patient consultations are managed over the telephone [due to Covid-19 restrictions]; therefore, there are relatively fewer patients coming into the health centre at present than would ordinarily come in.
“We have been reassured by the Western Trust’s representatives, who have been on site, that the building is safe to continue working here.
“As well as being a tenant here, we are also employers, and the safety of our practice team is paramount.
“We have been in contact with the Health and Safety Executive to seek independent reassurance that the building is fit for purpose.”

Maple Healthcare has also been in contact with local politicians to “ensure that the Department of Health is being updated on the unsatisfactory situation with this building”.
Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, First Minister, Arlene Foster said: “The scenes from Lisnaskea Health Centre last week were truly horrendous.
“The conditions for staff are untenable, and it is clear the health centre is not fit for purpose.
“This incident only highlights the need for a new state-of-the-art health facility. I am working on this, and have had many discussions with the Department of Health, regarding the need. This is progressing well.
“I too am a service user of [the] Lisnaskea practice. I recognise the need that exists.
“Patients need to have a safe place, where their medical needs are met. I know the staff at the medical centre work tirelessly to provide an excellent service,” said Mrs. Foster.

A spokesperson from the Western Health and Social Care Trust told The Impartial Reporter: “Lisnaskea Health Centre is currently having its roof replaced.
“The works have started and are progressing well, with the majority of works set to finish on Friday, October 9.
“The risk of leaks was recognised, and the Estates Department made arrangements for staff to be on site each day to deal with any issues.
“The contractor replaced the roof on a staged approach, using the old roof covering to overlap the new roof as weather protection during the night, but due to very heavy rain on September 30, water was able to make its way through and caused damage to a number of offices.
“Following this incident, the Trust met with the contractors and GP practice and put an action plan in place.
“The Trust will continue to work closely with the practice and provide attendance each morning to support the staff until the works are complete.”