An “absolute complete and comprehensive assurance” that bed closures at St Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel are not permanent has been relayed to local county councillors.
The assurance was given by the Deputy Manager of the HSE in the South East and Southern area, Anne Marie Lannigan, to Cllr Sean McCarthy, at a recent meeting of the HSE Forum.
Speaking at last Monday’s meeting of South Tipperary County Council, Cllr McCarthy said he recognised there had been some concern about the hospital and he had raised the matter at the HSE Forum.
He said Ms Lannigan had said some bed closures had taken place but on a temporary basis. It had been decided to close St Clare’s ward to keep all the closures together, rather than one or two beds in several wards.
The temporary closure is due to a budget over-run, Cllr McCarthy went on, and said the situation will be restored at the end of the year when the budget situation is resolved.
Cllr Liam Ahearn told the meeting that Ms Lannigan would meet with the Cashel area councillors in about five weeks time, when she knows her funding for 2012.
Fears for St. Patrick’s were raised at the county council meeting by Cllr Tom Wood, who expressed anger that a previous call for the HSE to appear before them had not happened. He said he was not surprised no one from the HSE had come to the council meeting. “I think we should advise the HSE that we will now come and visit them,” he said. Cllr Wood went on to say that if the news brought back by Cllrs McCarthy and Ahern was true, then it was “great,” and it was a totally different story to what was told a few weeks ago.
MeanwhileFine Gael TD Tom Hayes has spoken out about the future of St. Patrick’s Hospital following his ongoing consultations with the HSE on South Tipperary health services.
He stated that rumours of a St. Patrick’s closure were false, “St. Patrick’s hospital continues to provide ongoing care services including dementia care, rehabilitation, assessment, and respite services for older people. I am committed to ensuring that these services continue to be provided to the people of South Tipperary”.
He continued, “My work in this area is ongoing, and the most recent development is a confirmation from the HSE that St. Patrick’s Hospital will continue to play a significant role in the provision of public services for older people within South Tipperary Community Services.”
“This commitment by the HSE is a significant development given the review of health services right around the country, and I am delighted to see that St. Patrick’s will remain a substantial contributor to the health and well being of my constituents. My work in this area will continue, and I am committed to ensuring that the people of South Tipperary have the best possible care facilities available to them.”