The work of staff at the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon ensures that in excess of 350 people each year are able to remain in their own homes rather than having to go into long-term care, Independent TD Denis Naughten said.
“An analysis of the use of the 15 rehabilitation and respite beds in St. Catherine’s Ward at the Sacred Heart Hospital shows that over 350 people a year avail of this intensive support, which allows them to return to their own family homes instead of having to go into a nursing home,” he said.
“If the Sacred Heart Hospital were to be downsized, then these beds would be unsustainable under the current funding structure.
“As a result, hundreds of older people would not be able to avail of intensive rehabilitative support, which allows them to return to their own homes, rather than going into long-term care.
“The respite beds at the hospital also provide valuable support to family carers and gives them a break that allows them to continue to provide 24/7 care to their older relative.
“The amazing figure about St. Catherine’s Ward is that by helping older people and families, it keeps over 350 people out of long term care and it saves the HSE over €15.5m each year in reduced fees under the Fair Deal Nursing Home Support Scheme.”
Deputy Naughten added: “This €15.5m is less than the total amount of money that is required to refurbish the remaining parts of the Sacred Heart Hospital, which would ensure that it is not downgraded.
“I know that Health Minister Leo Varadkar is fully aware of the situation with the Sacred Heart Hospital.
“And I now hope that he overrules the HSE by ensuring that the funding is provided to secure the long-term future of the hospital.”