The Community Hospital of the Assumption Action Group have welcomed the provision to restore ten beds as announced in the Action Plan for the Mid West Region published late last month and have vowed to continue to put pressure on the HSE and Government to ensure that this promise is delivered upon, sooner rather than later.
The Action Group was formed further to the closure of 22 community nursing beds in the Community Hospital of the Assumption Thurles in late 2011. Since that time the group have been working determinedly behind the scenes to ensure that this issue was brought to public awareness, publicity maintained and pressure was put on all elected representatives, the HSE and the Government to deliver the return of these beds. Significant steps were taken by the group over the past year to highlight the radical and unfair nature of this slashing of services including a number of public meetings, a rally through the streets of Thurles, a number of meetings with the Minister for Health James Reilly T.D. as well as various trips to Leinster House to meet elected representatives from North and South Tipperary and Opposition Spokespersons for Health. Indeed subsequent to their initial meeting with Minister Reilly in November 2011 a commitment was given to reconfigure services to ensure the return of these beds in early 2012.
In a statement the Action group stated;
“As a committee we have been actively involved in corresponding with the Minister, HSE officials and a number of T.D’s and Opposition Spokesperson’s for health over the past 16 months. After several broken promises and false dawns we are hugely pleased that the Action Plan takes some steps to rectify to loss of vital beds in the Community Hospital. The inclusion of the Community Hospital in the Action Plan is the most positive step forward to date and gives firm, irrefutable grounds to bring the promise made by Minister Reilly to fruition and ensure the return of beds is delivered upon. We will continue to liaise with the HSE to ensure that the additional staff required are taken on board as swiftly as possible and the beds re-opened within weeks, rather than months. We believe that pressure needs to be maintained to ensure that this progress is not let slide and that the Community Hospital remains to the forefront in the minds of HSE officials. We will be taking steps in the coming weeks to ensure that this is the case.”
“Furthermore whilst the return of ten beds is welcome we will continue to campaign for the restoration of all of the beds that were lost to the people of Thurles and surrounds. This is simply one step forward but we have not yet reached the end of the road.”
“As a committee we would like to extend our sincere gratitude to the people of Thurles for their constant determination and for ensuring that this campaign always received overwhelming support. In freezing weather and dark evenings the people of Thurles and the surrounding areas turned out in their droves to march on the streets and attend meetings. In doing so they ensured that a firm message was sent to the Government and our elected representatives - the people of Thurles will not stand idly by whilst their much loved hospital is attacked. The public have been instrumental in voicing their displeasure to our T.D’s and the contents of the action plan are due in no small part to their efforts.”
“We would like to thank our Tipperary T.D.’s, local representatives and Opposition Spokespersons for Health for their work behind the scenes to secure the return of these beds. Their help is greatly appreciated. Finally we would also like to commend the management and staff of the community hospital. The volume of support from the public is testament to the exemplary care and quality service provided in the Community Hospital.”