Budget cuts could close public nursing homes

Leitrim’s public nursing homes in Carrick-on-Shannon, Mohill and Manorhamilton are facing closure as a result of new health budget cuts.

Leitrim’s public nursing homes in Carrick-on-Shannon, Mohill and Manorhamilton are facing closure as a result of new health budget cuts.

St Patrick’s Hospital, Carrick-on-Shannon, Aras Naomh Caoileann, Mohill and Our Lady’s Hospital, Manorhamilton can expect a number of bed closures in 2012 as well as the dreaded prospect of closure following massive health cuts to be announced in this month’s bleak budget.

It is expected that at the very least one public nursing home in the county will close, as the Government has earmarked aged facilities with a low number of beds to be axed.

Speaking to the Leitrim Observer this week, Sinn Fein Deputy Michael Colreavy said there is good reason to be “very concerned” for all three public nursing units in the county. While Fine Gael Deputy Denis Naughten stated, “it is clear that the HSE is planning for the closure of some facilities locally.”

Health Minister, Dr James Reilly confirmed there will be a “re-configuration” of community nursing units last week at the Oireachtas Health Committee. The Government are planning to close down hundreds of “long-stay beds”. Dr Reilly said that a rationalisation of community nursing units was “inevitable”.

HSE CEO, Cathal Magee told the Committee that the viability of long-stay nursing home care was being impacted by staff shortages resulting from the recruitment moratorium and the employment control framework in the HSE. He said staff resourcing issues were driving the consolidation of community nursing units providing long-term care.

See this week’s Leitrim Observer for the full story.