Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The long-term future of theRosalie Unit at Aras Naomh Chaolain in Castlerea may be uncertain with the facility closed to new admissions since September 2016.

With no plans to reopen the unit to admissions, Senator Maura Hopkins has expressed concerns over recent replies to her questions on the situation from the HSE.

There are currently 14 residents at the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. There were approximately 33 beds when the unit was operating at full capacity.

Senator Hopkins has been told by Tony Canavan, Chief Health Officer Community Care Area 2, that “the intention is to provide care for the residents in the unit as long as this is in the interest of the individual residents.

“The unit is currently managed by the Mental Health Service in County Roscommon. The appropriateness of this arrangement needs to be examined again on the basis of the needs of the residents. Capacity exists within the Creagh Suite in Ballinasloe to accommodate Psychiatry of Later Life Patients who have complex continuing care needs.”

Senator Hopkins expressed alarm at the response, noting that “the fact that the unit is closed to new admissions since September 2016 and that there is currently no long-term plan to admit new residents is of major concern. I have been in contact with both Minister for Health, Simon Harris and Minister for Mental Health, Jim Daly in relation to this issue.”

She added that she was happy that HSE has given assurances that the current residents would remain there for as long as they required. “This is very important as these residents and their families deserve certainty and stability,” she said.

Senator Hopkins went on to say that “a number of public representatives including myself along with family representatives met with former Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch and senior HSE Officials on July 1st, 2015.

“We were informed at that meeting that the Rosalie Unit would remain open and form part of service delivery into the future. A discussion also took place at that meeting on how the unit would be further developed..

“My core questions are will this unit remain open in the long term? When will new residents be accepted? Is HSE management committed to developing the unit to best support the needs of our community? Will HSE management adhere to the outcomes of the meeting held between public representatives, former minister Kathleen Lynch and senior HSE officials,” concluded Senator Hopkins.

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