The necessity to transfer the purposely built and highly acclaimed ground floor Rehab Unit from St Patricks Hospital to an upper floor at Our Lady’s Hospital in order to facilitate refurbishment at St Patricks was questioned at the September meeting of the Regional Health Forum by Cllr Tom Wood.
Cllr Wood 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. “Eighteen 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 Ladys as a means of relieving the pressure on beds at South Tipperary General Hospital seems to have been forgotten about,” he said. Cllr Wood was also concerned that the proposed on-site 40 bed Community Nursing Unit for Saint Patricks which was discussed at the July Forum meeting was now only referred to in correspondence as a “possible development”, and one for “consideration”. This came to light in response to his motion calling on the HSE to draw up plans for the unit without further delay in order to ensure its provision as quickly as possible. Ms Anna Marie Lanigan, Area Manager, South East Primary, Community and Continuing Care, informed the meeting that the existing Le Cairde Unit at Our Ladys Hospital campus is currently being upgraded to HIQA standards with the intention to relocate 11 Elderly Infirm patients from Saint Patricks Hospital. She said a building contract is in place and work has commenced on same.