The necessity to transfer the purposely built ground floor Rehabilitation Unit from Saint Patrick’s Hospital to an upper floor at Our Lady’s Hospital, to facilitate refurbishment at Saint Patrick’s, was again questioned at the September meeting of the Regional Health Forum by Cllr Tom Wood.
He said that the HSE plan was constantly changing and uncertainty on top of all the crisis in the health system was a major cause of concern for staff, patients and their families.
“18 months ago we discovered that the HSE planned, without any consultation, to transfer the Rehabilitation Unit. Initially it was to happen during 2013 and that changed to either the second or third quarter of 2014. Now we are informed that the proposed works to facilitate the transfer will be put out to tender before the end of this year and if funding is approved these works can commence in early 2015 with completion anticipated before the end of that year. Meanwhile the announcement made, to much acclaim some months ago, about the provision of step down beds at Our Lady’s as a means of relieving the pressure on beds at South Tipperary General Hospital seems to have been forgotten about,” he said.
Cllr Wood is also concerned that the proposed 40-bed Community Nursing Unit for Saint Patrick’s, discussed at the July Forum meeting, is now only referred to in correspondence as a “possible development.” This came to light in response to his motion calling on the HSE to draw up plans for the unit without further delay.
Anna Marie Lanigan, Area Manager, South East Primary, Community and Continuing Care, informed the meeting that the existing Le Cairde Unit at Our Lady’s Hospital campus is currently being upgraded to HIQA standards with the intention to relocate 11 elderly infirm patients from Saint Patrick’s Hospital. She said a contract is in place and work has begun.