Ballinamore Nursing Unit is only now being assigned to the HSE procurement system.
The €6m primary care centre opened in February this year, but the 22 bed nursing home which was expected to be put to tender last year is still going through the HSE system.
Roscommon/South Leitrim Fine Gael TD, Frank Feighan, has been informed by the HSE that the process to appoint the operator of the new Ballinamore Nursing Unit is continuing to progress.
He told the Leitrim Observer,“I have been informed by the HSE that the project for assistance to select private providers and to manage Ballinamore Community Nursing Unit, has been assigned to Health Business Services procurement, which is a division within the HSE.
“Following a market sounding exercise conducted in March of this year, Assistant Head of Health Procurement Sourcing and Contracting, Michael Driscoll, is currently engaging with various stakeholders.
“The HSE has told me that the Project Group is currently evaluating the most appropriate approach to the market and I await developments with interest.
“Plans to appoint the operator is taking time but I know that both the Primary Care Centre and the Community Hospital will ensure that local communities have improved access to a greater range of health services on their doorstep.” concluded Deputy Feighan.
The nursing unit was expected to act as a step down facility for patients well enough to be discharged from general hospital but not well enough to go home, or those who require additional therapies.
Local Fianna Fáil Cllr Caillian Ellis had recently commented on the facility “lying dormant.”
He told the paper the centre was supposed to go for tender last year.
The HSE had previously stated that if there was no interest from any operator, they would open the facility as a HSE unit.
Cllr Ellis had said the situation was “scandalous” and called for the process to speed up, especially in the light of St Patrick’s Community Hospital finding it difficult to meet modern standards.