HSE must clarify their plans for the future of St. Joseph’s Hospital – BREEN.

December 10th, 2009 - Pat Breen

Fine Gael’s Deputy Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Clare T.D. Pat Breen has expressed his concerns about the knock on implications for the availability of Elderly Care Beds, following the news that Unit 3 at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis will be reduced to a 16 bedded unit from January 2010 next.

Deputy Breen has received confirmation from Dr. Fergal Flynn, Local Health Manager, that Unit 3 will now be a 16-bedded unit, following a recent parliamentary question tabled in relation to the future of the Unit at the Hospital.

“There were 214 Elderly Care beds at St. Joseph’s Hospital, a number of years ago, there are now 177 beds, and by January 2010 there will only be 165. This is a very worrying trend, particularly, as the Fair Deal Nursing Home Scheme has come into being, which, will place a greater demand for Elderly Care Beds in this County. It is unacceptable that further pressure will be placed on our elderly people who are the most vulnerable in our Society.”

“St. Joseph’s Hospital in Ennis is one of the biggest Hospitals in this County and there is huge demand for beds at the Hospital because of it excellent reputation in the care of the Elderly which is provided by their dedicated staff. A lot of Clare people are now questioning which way the HSE is going and how they are going to be able to deliver on the demand for public elderly care beds.”

“The reconfiguration of psychiatric services in this County is compounding the problem, already, I have been advised by the HSE that 12 patients will transfer from the Cappahard Lodge to this unit and my understanding is that Unit 5 will now transfer to the Mental Health Services. What, I understand is happening is that Unit 3 and Unit 5 are being amalgamated, which may require the redeployment of some nurses.”

“It is time, now for the HSE to clarify, exactly, what their plans are for St. Joseph’s Hospital, if they plan any further reduction in beds at the Hospital and if so, how are they going to meet the demand for beds under the Fair Deal Scheme and are they any implications for the staff working there.”