Deputy Seamus Healy, Chairperson of the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee, has welcomed the outcome of Monday's 'collaborative and consultative' meeting with officials of the South West Hospital Group and South Tipperary General Hospital.
This process, agreed with Minister for Health Simon Harris on his recent visit, is, he said, designed to ensure local input into the delivery of the 40 bed modular unit for the hospital in an efficient and timely fashion.
Since the Hospital Committee’s formation in November 2008 its mission has been “to save, to support and to expand the hospital and hospital services.”
Mr. Healy said the first part of that mission was successful when, led by the committee, “People Power” of 15,000 people marched on the streets of Clonmel and stopped the H.S.E. from transferring all our acute services to Kilkenny and Waterford.
“The Chief Operations Officer of the South West Hospital Group confirmed that a contract in the amount of €800,000 has been awarded for the completion of enabling works and site preparations for the new 40 bed modular unit. The Unit itself will go to tender this week with a closing date for receipt of tenders of December 1st.
“Following examination of tenders received, it is intended to award the Contract at a meeting on 15th December next.
Mr. Healy stated that a further meeting, in the Consultative process, with the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee and Oireachtas Members will take place in the first week of January 2018 to ensure that the momentum is maintained and the 40 bed unit is delivered on time.
“The need for capital investment for infrastructural development at the hospital was also discussed and the Committee welcomed the completion of the Development Control Place for the hospital including the construction of a new 50 bed unit, upgrading of the older parts of the Hospital and the delivery of a newly located and refurbishment Outpatients Department”.
The Committee and Oireachtas members expect that capital investment for the hospital will be announced in the Capital Investment Programme shortly and that the Hospital will be included in the 10 year Capital Programme.
The Chairperson of the Save Our Acute Hospital Services Committee said the Committee is also aware that the Mental Health Service in the County is 'not fit for purpose, is underfunded, under resourced and understaffed'.
He stated “we believe that inpatient mental health services must be returned to the county from Kilkenny and Ennis and that our Community Based Teams must be properly resourced”.
“To that end, we have arranged for a Deputation to meet with Minister Jim Daly T.D., Minister with responsibility for Mental Health Services to urgently address these issues”, the Independent Deputy stated.