As plans move apace for the transfer of rehabilitation and respite beds from Saint Patrick’s Hospital to the former Our Lady’s County Hospital, Cllr Tom Wood has written to the Health, Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) expressing concerns and questioning if the re-location of such patients to first and second level floors is acceptable and in keeping with HSE policy.
In his letter he says: “I am writing to you, not just as a public representative, but also as a long time friend and supporter of Saint Patrick’s Hospital. You will be aware of the wonderful services available at the purposely built Rehabilitation Unit, a unit recognised throughout the country and even further afield as first class.
“Needless to say, I and many admirers of the service, where the patient is put first, were shocked when the HSE announced without any consultation that both the Rehabilitation Unit and Respite Service were going to be transferred to Our Lady’s. It was my understanding that respite patients should be accommodated on a complex with long stay beds, in a centre like Saint Patrick’s, but this will not be so after the transfer.
“I was also disturbed on hearing that the rehabilitation beds would be located on an upper floor. Presently the patients at Saint Patrick’s can enjoy the fresh air, sit outside with family and friends whereas an upper floor unit will imprison them.”
Cllr Wood also refers to the unknown costs surrounding the re-location, pointing out that the HSE has already realised that despite the millions spent on Our Lady’s in recent years it is not suited to their purpose and he suggests that the money could be better spent in other areas of Saint Patrick’s, already a recognised and respected centre of excellence.
In conclusion, he writes: “Presuming the Health, Information, and Quality Authority is aware of the HSE plan and has given it its blessing, I hope as a last resort that you may be able to get answers for me as to why the Rehabilitation Unit and respite beds are to be transferred to unsuitable accommodation at significant expense.
“It would indeed be crazy if HIQA deemed it necessary at some future date to relocate those same services from Our Lady’s to yet another location for patient care, safety or other reasons but stranger things have happened.”
Meanwhile, Cllr Wood is also concerned for the future survival of many day care services presently available at Our Lady’s if and when the transfer takes place.