An extension of 30 jobs at Drakelands

A NEW extension at Drakelands House nursing home is due to bring an additional 31 beds – and at least 30 jobs – when it opens later this year.

A NEW extension at Drakelands House nursing home is due to bring an additional 31 beds – and at least 30 jobs – when it opens later this year.

Mirroring the structure and style of the existing 41-bed house, the two-storey extension includes en suite bedrooms with 31 beds, but the main attractions are probably the open spaces and living areas that will be enjoyed by both current and new residents, said proprietor Anne Fleck-Byrne.

The building work by Ormonde Construction is expected to be finished by the end of June, with the new section opening around August or September once the additional beds have been registered with the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), she said. To manage the larger number of residents, at least 30 staff will be taken on to assist the current staff of 43.

The jewel in the crown of the new part of the house is a first-floor living space with panoramic views overlooking the countryside and Kilkenny city. It’s a view that can be seen from some of the existing bedrooms, but this new space will be shared by all of the residents and visitors. “I used to live here and I had that view every night,” Ms Fleck-Byrne recalled. “To see the lights on a winter night was magnificent.”

The space will also link the existing and new sections of the building on the first floor, with a link via the existing kitchen on the ground floor.

In addition, the new wing will add consultation rooms, clinical rooms, assisted bathrooms, a hair dressing salon, stills room for tea and coffee, a lift big enough to hold a hospital trolley to complement the passenger lift in the existing house, a living space with a bar space and fireplace, reception rooms, offices, and a rooftop garden overlooking a courtyard. A new dining room, on the other side of the existing lounge, will eventually be connected to create a space shared by both sections of the house.

“We needed some new bedrooms, but also we needed some more living space for the existing house,” Ms Fleck-Byrne explained of the nursing home which has been open since October 1997, and which she and her husband Chris have run since December 2002.

As the new part of the building comes to life, a waiting list for beds in the extension is open and some prospective residents are already booked in.

For more information, contact 056 7770925/ 056 7770921.