Fears for South Tipp Elderly Home

CONCERNS are growing for the future of an elderly care home in South Tipperary, just weeks after the closure of a private nursing home in the County which cost 40 jobs.

CONCERNS are growing for the future of an elderly care home in South Tipperary, just weeks after the closure of a private nursing home in the County which cost 40 jobs.

According to South Tipperary Independent TD Mattie McGrath, St Anthony’s Nursing home in Clonmel may be in danger of closing, with the patients having to transfer to Cashel’s St Patrick’s Hospital. St Patrick’s Hospital is already overstretched, and more residents arriving from Clonmel would only push the service to breaking point, Deputy McGrath told the Tipperary Star.

“There was a meeting with staff and management. It wasn’t made definite. My impression is that it was one or the other, either Cashel or Clonmel.”

South Tipp FG Deputy Tom Hayes has strongly rejected any suggestion that St Anthony’s will close, and called on other parties to not cause panic. Deputy Hayes has said it was “rumour gone mad.”

St Anthony’s has seen some staff retire recently, while one or two staff have been transferred to Cashel. Deputy McGrath said there were concerns that the HSE is not replacing outgoing staff. “I’m concerned they’re closing it by stealth, if they starve it of staff. They’ll have to be told to stop the Respite Care because they don’t have the staff to cover it.”

St Anthony’s has some 18 residents, with a total of 28 beds, including 15 long stay beds. Five of these beds closed last year due to a lack of staff.

Deputy McGrath has made representations to Pat Healy, head of the South East Region of the HSE. The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) is due to arrive at St Anthony’s today (March 13) for an inspection report. Deputy McGrath told the Tipperary Star he thought “health and safety” regulations have gone too far in relation to nursing home inspections. “They’ve gone over the top. We’ve already lost a nursing home in Carrick-on-Suir.”

Full story in this week’s Tipperary Star.