Minister for Health Simon Harris.
Heath Minister Simon Harris paid a visit to St. Theresa's Hospital, Clogheen, where he was hugely impressed by the facilities.
St Theresa’s Hospital was opened as a District Hospital in 1926. The hospital currently has a complement of 18 beds and provides rehabilitation and respite care for the elderly.
Hospice care services are also provided under the auspices of St Tipperary Hospice. Major improvements have taken place in recent years partly funded by Friend’s of St. Theresa’s under the direction of Sr Aine Power (now retired) who was Matron for a number of years
Local Fine Gael councillor Marie Murphy extended an invitation to Minister Harris to visit St Theresa’s so that he could see for himself the fabulous facilities.
She thanked Minister Harris for taking time out of his busy schedule to visit the Hospital which caters for a huge geographical area. The Minister was given a tour of the Hospital by acting Director of Nursing, Anne Walsh and then he was shown the plans for the extension which are on display in the Day Room.
Planning permission was granted by Tipperary County Council for an extension to St Theresa’s in April 2017. These plans included the upgrading of existing facilities to meet HIQA standards, including laundry, kitchen and cold room, plus enhanced staff facilities.
There will be two totally new hospice suites and the addition of three new single/twin rooms. There will also be a secure garden and courtyard to ensure privacy and safety.
The new bedrooms, en-suites and ancillary accommodation will be in the extension and the more public areas, including Day Room, Oratory, Administration, staff accommodation and kitchen will be accommodated in the existing building.
When the proposed extension is fully finished, St Theresa’s will be a modern hospital and have a complement of 19 beds. The construction of Phase 1A and 1B went out to tender in July and quotations were received towards the end of August.
Once he had reviewed the plans, Cllr Murphy went on to tell Minister Harris of the massive fundraising efforts of various groups, including Friends of St Theresa’s Hospital, Clogheen Hospice Suite Construction Fund and Boston Scientific.
These groups were represented by Sr Aine Power, who gave a brief history of the fundraising undertaken by Friends of St Theresa’s over many years including Golf classics. Keith Savage, CHSCF, explained how he got involved in fundraising and the considerable support generated for the various events organised including the Christmas event which was featured on ‘Ear to the Ground’.
Boston Scientific, represented by JP Fitzpatrick, nominated St Theresa’s as their charity as a result of the efforts by CHSCF. South Tipperary Hospice is also committed to the Hospital. Cllr Murphy highlighted the fact that very few places would have circa €400,000 raised in their locality to support a project and asked the Minister to ensure that St Theresa’s would be on the next round of Capital Funding.
Minister Harris was extremely impressed by St Theresa’s Hospital and the plans in place.
Minister Harris also dropped into Vee Valley Day Care Centre for a quick visit where he was warmly welcomed by the manager Lorraine, her staff and the clients. He apologised for interrupting the cards and bingo as he met with all present.