It was confirmed at a Committee meeting with Oireachtas members and the Minister for Health, Simon Harris and HSE officials yesterday morning (Wednesday) that the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea will become a Day Centre for psychiatry of later life patients and adolescents after the two remaining patients have been transferred.
Responding to a question from Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD, HSE Chief Operations Officer, Anne O’Connor, said: “My understanding is that seven (residents) have been transferred, with two to go over the next two to three weeks. The facility is to be used as a mental health hub with two day hospitals for psychiatry of later life patients and adolescents. They are day services, not accommodation”.
Plans to transform the Rosalie Unit into a mental health hub had been mooted in June of this year. Proposals include a seven-day children and adolescent service which would serve Roscommon, Mayo and parts of Sligo and Leitrim. It would provide care to young people who would otherwise attend A&E Departments.
It was also proposed that a Psychiatry of Later Life Day Hospital would operate five days per week and serve people from Roscommon and north Galway. Speaking on Wednesday following the Committee meeting, local Sinn Féin spokesperson Claire Kerrane, who had raised the issue with Deputy O’Reilly, said the Government has broken a 2015 commitment to protect residents from the closure of the Rosalie Unit.
“At the Health Committee, Sinn Féin Health spokesperson Louise O’Reilly TD, who had previously met with the families of the Rosalie Home, asked the HSE to confirm their plans for the Home in Castlerea.
“The HSE confirmed that the Rosalie Home would become a Day Centre for psychiatry of later life patients and adolescents once the two remaining residents were removed. There will be no accommodation provided.
“Deputy O’Reilly also put on the record that of the nine residents who have been forced to leave the Rosalie Home in recent weeks, three have since sadly passed away. The HSE did not respond to or acknowledge this in their reply.
“The consequences of the inaction of our elected representatives despite all of their talk of saving the Rosalie Home have been felt by the residents of the Rosalie Home who should have been protected and their wishes respected. That commitment made to them and their families by Government in 2015 was broken”.