Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim has condemned the move to cease services at the Alzheimer’s Unit in the St. John’s Hospital Campus, describing it as a retrograde step for patients and their families.
The move, by the HSE, will see all patients moved to other facilities or settings by March this year.
Deputy Mac Sharry said, “The Alzheimer’s Unit in St. John’s provides essential and excellent services to Alzheimer’s patients in Sligo. Many families have contacted my office, distraught at the thought of their loved ones being moved to other settings. They are worried about the impact that these moves with have on these patients, particularly when they are so happy in the existing unit.
“Many are also worried about the disruptive effect that a move could have - Alzheimer’s patients traditionally need routine and familiar surroundings – and moving them could cause serious distress. Some of these patients have been in this unit for over 20 years. Families are also worried that their loved ones could be transferred somewhere that could limit their ability to visit.
“The decision by the HSE to close this unit is typical of the harsh and punitive cuts that are being implemented across the health service under Fine Gael. Once again we see services in the North West targeted, while the concerns of those most dependent on these service are ignored," he said.