Scaffolding erected after bricks are ‘dislodged’ at Ballymena Health Centre

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Scaffolding has been put up at Ballymena Health Centre.

SCAFFOLDING has been erected at Ballymena Health and Care Centre where bricks have “dislodged”.

A Northern Health & Social Care Trust spokeswoman confirmed to ‘Ballymena Daily’: “Roof trims appear to have moved on the roof line potentially as a result of recent strong winds.

“A couple of bricks below the trim appear to have dislodged and ended up resting inside the cavity wall”.

She said there had been no reports of any injuries and all entrances to the centre were still open.

The spokeswoman added: “Our absolute priority is the continuing safety of service users and staff. We can confirm that an investigation is taking place of the roof trims in the area of the erected scaffolding which is at the front side of the building.”

She said the could not comment on how long any work would take and how much it would cost for any possible remedial work until their investigations are concluded.

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The spokeswoman added: “The Trust is engaging with the original contractor and the design team to determine the cause and once this is known the parties will agree on how this to be rectified.”

The building opened at a cost of £25 million in 2016.

The Trust confirmed the building officially opened on February 18, 2016 but that first services moved in in January 2016.

The spokeswoman added:”The Trust has endeavoured to keep any inconvenience down to an absolute minimum – no entrances have been closed off and all services within the Centre continue to operate as normal.

“Following investigation, the Trust will have to carry out some remedial repairs to the building at the area affected and at this point this programme will be disseminated to Trust staff and users to the Centre in advance of any works.”

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The Health Centre was officially opened by Stormont Health Minister Simon Hamilton and at the time it was hailed as state-of-the-art centre and was the largest health centre of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Minister Hamilton said in 2016: “Anybody who wants to see the future of health and social care can come to Ballymena.”

The Centre’s ultra-modern facilities have been well received by patients since it opened.

However, a couple of weeks after the official opening, two men were trapped in a lift which developed a fault at the Centre.

One of the men, then aged 81, said at the time: “”I was going to see the doctor in a new £25 million centre and I didn’t expect this to happen.”

At the time the Health Trust apologised for any distress caused to the two people trapped for around an hour.

The lift doors had to be cut open by firefighters using specialist equipment.

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