An emergency public meeting will take place in Hester’s Golden Eagle, Castlerea next Monday evening (9th) due to fears that the Rosalie Unit is set to close following a meeting between public representatives and HSE Chief Officer, Tony Canavan, last Friday.
Liam Walsh, whose mother Breda is one of 12 residents in the Rosalie Unit, called Monday’s public meeting following what he described as “recent sinister developments”.
“This emergency meeting will take place next Monday in Hester’s at 8.30 pm in order to discuss the public’s view of the recent sinister developments in relation to the Rosalie Unit and the proposed closure of the unit without due process being followed.
“Everyone is invited including Minister Jim Daly and HSE’s Tony Canavan and if they can’t attend we’ve asked them to send representatives.
“If the agency is afraid of meeting the people they purportedly serve, then something is seriously wrong,” he said.
At last Friday’s meeting between Tony Canavan and public representatives at the Abbey Hotel, those in attendance were updated on the clinical assessments of the 12 Rosalie residents, which had been completed in May. An independent psychiatrist from the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland will now examine those assessments.
Mr. Walsh said it had been made clear to him in a letter from Minister Jim Daly in May that no decision would be made until those clinical assessments had been reviewed. However, during an interview on Shannonside FM on Monday, Tony Canavan intimated that the decision had already been taken to close the unit in the long-term.
Local politicians have expressed their frustration with the HSE following last Friday’s briefing, and it has since emerged that Minister Denis Naughten and Deputy Michael Fitzmaurice stormed out of the meeting before its conclusion.
Minister Denis Naughten has said that while he left the meeting “in disgust” he is currently engaging with both Minister Jim Daly and Minister for Health Simon Harris on the matter.
“This is a very anxious time for the long-term residents of the Rosalie Unit which, for them, is their home and the best interest of these residents is my primary focus at this time.
“I left the meeting last Friday afternoon in disgust as clearly the HSE is not prepared to even consider the impact its actions are having on residents or the views of next of kin.
“I wrote to Minister Jim Daly as a result of that meeting expressing my views on the handling of this matter by the HSE.
“I’ve also had a discussion with the Minister for Health earlier this week and I expect to have further engagement on this matter later this week.
“Again my primary focus is on ensuring that the interests of the residents and their families are kept to the fore in these engagements,” he said.
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins said she is “deeply frustrated” that the HSE has not listened to the concerns of family members and public representatives regarding the need to keep the Rosalie Unit open.
She also said she had informed HSE Chief Officer, Tony Canavan that patients and their families were unaware that clinical assessments were being used to determine the future of the unit at last Friday’s meeting with public representatives at the Abbey Hotel in Roscommon town.
“Quite a number of family members have spoken with me stating clearly that they were not made aware that clinical assessments would be used to determine whether their relative would stay in the Rosalie Unit or be moved to a long-term care facility. They informed me that they were told clearly this assessment was to update their care plan and not to determine the future of the Rosalie Unit,” she said.
Senator Hopkins added that she had made it clear to Mr. Canavan that the unit should be improved rather than closed.
“I am deeply frustrated, like many residents and family members, that the HSE are not listening to our concerns at all and the need for this unit to remain open. The HSE has completely failed to look at every possible option in order to keep the unit open despite many requests on numerous occasions over the past year and a half,” she said.