Brian O’Shea TD, Labour Party spokesperson on Defence and the Irish language, has welcomed a HSE pledge to maintain services at Dunabbey House in Dungarvan throughout this year.
Deputy O’Shea has also received confirmation from the HSE that the work on the long-awaited new 32-bed Community Hospital for the town on the grounds of St Joseph’s Hospital will shortly be complete.
“Dunabbey House opened in 1974 and has the facilities to provide care for up to 40 residents. Talks recently centred around the possibility of the number of beds being reduced to 30 in the building.
“But I am glad to say I have just received written confirmation from the HSE that present levels of service at the facility will be maintained throughout 2009. This is welcome news, particularly for the residents at the centre, their families and friends who feared rumoured cuts could impact on the care of their loved ones,” said Deputy O’Shea.
While the HSE said its services would be a matter of review and ongoing consideration, particularly in the light of the development of community-based supports aimed at maintaining people at home, we could not and would not accept any cuts which impacted on the elderly, some of whom were the most vulnerable and voiceless in our community, Deputy O’Shea added.
“The HSE has also confirmed that building work on the Community Hospital which will replace the District Hospital will shortly be completed. This facility was built at a cost of €10 million and replaces St Vincent’s District Hospital.
“As well as providing improved care for the elderly, the new unit will include GP access beds, convalescent, respite and terminal care as well as short-term accommodation for dependent, chronically-ill young patients.
“These new services are a significant boost to the region and will be a very positive development in the future, non-acute services care of the people of Dungarvan and the wider West Waterford community.
“They will complement those at Waterford Regional Hospital and when operational, they will allow older people to be assessed as day patients and in many cases, potentially, avoid hospital admission,” the Deputy concluded.