A €1.6 million upgrade of residential facilities at a community nursing facility in Tuamgraney in Co Clare has been officially opened.

The Brian Boru Suite at the Raheen Community Nursing Unit consists of six single bedrooms and one twin bedroom, all ensuite, as well as a living room, a visitors' room and an enclosed garden.

The new unit is designed to enhance the care and accommodation for the long-term residents at the facility, which provides 25 beds; 15 of them long-term, and ten short-stay beds for elderly residents.

The centre also provides day care services such as physiotherapy, chiropody and occupational health clinics for 25 people from the local community within a 30km radius.

The upgrade in facilities is designed to bring the unit into line with HIQA standards.

Opening the new unit today Minister Helen McEntee, who has responsibility for mental health and older people, said it would greatly enhance the quality of life for residents and ensure the highest standards of care.

Eddie Ginivan, Vice Chair of the Raheen Hospital Support Group, which had fundraised to provide facilities and supports to residents at the hospital, said the new unit was a milestone in the journey to create a first class residential facility for the community, and was a testament to what an active committee of a local and concerned community can achieve in partnership with the Health Service Executive.