There has been a mixed political reaction to an update from the HSE on the future of the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea.
Writing to Minister Jim Daly on the 30th of May, HSE Chief Officer Tony Canavan said that no decision will be taken in relation to the Rosalie Unit until a Clinical Assessment process which is currently ongoing is completed and then reviewed.
Minister Denis Naughten has welcomed the HSE update and says it will provide reassurance for residents and their families.
In contrast, Fine Gael Senator Maura Hopkins said Mr. Canavan’s letter to Minister Daly does not provide any clarity or reassurance.
And Fianna Fail TD Eugene Murphy said that while he is prepared to give the statement a cautious welcome, he does not see it as a long-term commitment to the Rosalie Unit.
Minister Naughten had written to Minister Jim Daly stating that “both Government and HSE policy is clear that the Rosalie Unit has a future which is in all likelihood within the Mental Health services” and had sought reassurances in relation to both the residents of the Rosalie Unit and the future of the unit itself.
In subsequent correspondence to Minister Daly, Mr. Canavan wrote:
‘As agreed at the meeting held on 2 May last, the Clinical Assessment process currently underway by the HSE is expected to be completed shortly.
‘Following this, the HSE will revert to you on the outcome of this process.
‘It was also made clear at the meeting that the engagement between the HSE and local stakeholders should be maximised in the meantime, and that no decision has been, or will be taken, in relation to the Rosalie Unit until these assessments have been completed and reviewed.
‘I can confirm that it is the intention that the Rosalie facility will continue to form part of the service delivery of healthcare in the Roscommon area, and that if any change should arise from its current use, it will be done in consultation with public representatives and relevant stakeholders for the area’.
Minister Naughten welcomed the announcement but said that stakeholders and local public representatives must continue working with residents and their families.
“I welcome this reassurance from the HSE following my letter to Minister Daly, however this is an issue which should never have been open for discussion in the first place. This will provide reassurance for residents and their families, however we must continue to work with residents, their families and their advocates as well as the local community to plan for the future,” he concluded.