West Cavan Fianna Fail Councillor, John Paul Feeley has raised concern at the HIQA report demanding major works to 21 nursing units throughout the country including the Breffni Care Unit, Ballyconnell, Lisdarn Unit for the Elderly, Cavan and Arus Carolan, Mohill or face closure.
“I am very concerned with the report referred to in the Sunday Business Post. These facilities and the other 18 around the country provide essential care to older and vulnerable people who are no longer able to live independently any longer.
“Almost without exception, the staff work to the very highest standards and provide exception care to their patients and solace to their family members,” he said.
The report indicates that the nursing homes involved have ‘major’ non-compliance issues. HIQA have further stated that “if a centre is not in compliance by July 1, 2015, and if no realistic, time bound costed/funded plan has been agreed with the Authority, then appropriate conditions will be attached to any renewal of registration”.
HSE Director General, Tony O’Brien indicated last week that a total of €300m would be required to deal with the issues raised by HIQA across the sector whereas in 2015 only €7.3m has been provided by the HSE for the capital works provided and none of the 21 centres referred to in the report are included in the HSE submission for Capital Funding this year.
“The Government have already been caught out in this as Minister Kathleen Lynch indicated on radio that HIQA had given the HSE three years to get these centres in order, something the HSE has refuted.
“At a time when Minister Varadkar is failing to deal with the crisis in A & E the closure of these step down beds and nursing beds will add to the already chaotic situation in our acute hospitals,” he said.
“The HSE are clearly failing in there obligations to their patients and indeed their staff and must act to provide the much needed investment as a matter of urgency and Minister Varadkar must with his Government provide the necessary funding.”