Senator Maura Hopkins has informed the Roscommon People that the Minister for Mental Health, Jim Daly has agreed to hold a meeting to discuss the long-term future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, which has been closed to new admissions since September 2016.
“I wish to make it clear that I have been raising concerns in relation to the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea directly with Minister for Simon Harris, Minister for Mental Health, Jim Daly and HSE Chief Health Officer, Tony Canavan.
“At my request, Minister Daly has confirmed that he will hold a meeting on 24th January regarding the Rosalie Unit involving HSE Management, all Oireachtas Public Representatives and family representatives.
“I believe it is critical that we all work together in the interests of ensuring a positive outcome in relation to the Rosalie Unit and that is my intention which has been the focus of my work over the past number of months,” Senator Hopkins said.
Senator Hopkins had raised serious concerns over the future of the unit with Chief Health Officer Tony Canavan and received this reply in November:
“There are currently fourteen residents at the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea. 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.
The Rosalie Unit has been closed to new admissions since September 27th 2016. It is not proposed to reopen the unit to new admissions currently.
“Capacity exists within the Creagh Suite in Ballinasloe to accommodate Psychiatry of Later Life Patients who have complex continuing care needs”.
Senator Hopkins added that a previous meeting which took place with former Minister for Mental Health and Older People, Kathleen Lynch, sought to explore further development of the unit.
“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 1st July 2015. We were informed at that meeting that the Rosalie Unit would remain open and form part of service delivery into the future. Discussion also took place at that meeting on how the unit would be further developed. This involved potential additional specialism in dementia care.
“My core questions are will this unit remain open in the long term? When will new residents be accepted? Are the HSE 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?” she concluded.