HSE Chief Officer, Tony Canavan, informed a meeting of TDs and Senators in Roscommon last Friday afternoon that St. Joseph’s Mental Health Day Centre in Ballaghaderreen would close in a matter of weeks.
It is believed that a HSE report into St. Joseph’s day centre found that the facility is no longer suitable for current service-users and that it would close at the end of July. There were fears for the future of the centre back in April and while it remained open, a review was carried out in recent weeks.
Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins claims HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan had offered assurances on the future of the unit just a few weeks ago.
“Mr. Canavan informed public representatives at last Friday’s meeting in the Abbey Hotel that the Ballaghaderreen Mental Health Day Care Centre is closing at the end of July. I have raised concerns about the day centre many times over the past number of years.
“In the most recent correspondence to me, just two months ago, on the 20th of April, Mr. Canavan stated: “I can confirm that there is no question of this centre closing until we are in a position to provide better day services to the current attendees”. Yet, nine weeks later, the HSE are closing it.
“I questioned Mr. Canavan at length in relation to the replacement services to be provided to people in the Ballaghaderreen area but no answers were forthcoming other than (that services would be) based on individual needs.
“What does this mean? Of course, services need to meet individual needs but what are the services? What improved replacement services will be in place? This is not a practical answer whatsoever and not good enough,” she concluded.