Wednesday, 13 July 2011
Dáil Éireann Debate
178. Deputy Jim Daly asked the Minister for Health further to his visit to Clonakilty Hospital, County Cork, and subsequent meeting at his Department with the Clonakilty Hospital Action Group, the progress he has made with the Health Service Executive in respect of the proposed bed closures at the hospital; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [20119/11]
Minister of State at the Department of Health (Deputy Kathleen Lynch): During a visit to the region in April 2011, my colleague, Minister Reilly, took the opportunity to visit Clonakilty Community Hospital, to inform himself on the range of services provided at the hospital, the rationale for the reduction in long stay beds at the hospital and the potential impact of this decision. As the Deputy is aware, Minister Reilly also met with the Clonakilty Hospital Action Group in May 2011.
The Department is currently considering the future of HSE Provision of Residential Care for Older People. This review will consider the position of all HSE residential facilities for Older People in terms of meeting the National Standards and Regulations. It will also consider local demographic pressures and the extent of existing public and private provision, with a view to developing an overall strategy on how the Executive should continue to provide this service in view of current budgetary and other pressures. Any plans that the Executive may have to close or withdraw residential care beds is suspended until the Minister has had an opportunity to consider the findings of the review. I should make it clear, however, that, providing quality and safe care for our long stay residents will have to remain at the heart of these considerations.
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