Crowe raises St Brigid’s Nursing Home closure in Dáil
Speaking after raising the closure of St Brigid’s Nursing Home in Crooksling, Co Dublin, under Topical Issues in tonight’s session of the Dáil, Dublin South West Sinn Féin TD Seán Crowe said:
“For months there have been concerns that the HSE was planning to close St Brigid’s and now these fears have been realised. Yet until yesterday’s announcement, the government refused to give a straight answer and clarify the situation despite the fact their decision will have a profound impact on very vulnerable people, many of whom have spent a good part of their lives being cared for in the home.
“The 2009 EIQA Report into St Brigid’s praised the dedication and work of its staff and their views reflected those of the relatives whose loved ones were residents of the home. One of the residents of Crooksling has been a patient since she was seventeen. Now in her mid–seventies; she has no relatives and has only ever left the place on short trips arranged by the staff.
“There are many other residents who have spent twenty and thirty years in the Brittas based care home and some have been moved from private nursing homes, because they were receiving substandard care. Every unit at Crooksling treats a percentage of patients with psychiatric conditions and many are resident there having been refused entry to private nursing homes because of the severity of their illness.
“It is also wrong that staff and relatives got no advance official notice of the closure and only heard what was happening through the media. The HSE’s failure to communicate their decision with the people most affected showed a lack of common decency and courtesy. Their conduct has made the announcement of the closure all the more traumatic.
“Over the past five years a significant amount of money was spent on this facility yet when questioned the Minister could not provide a breakdown of what was spent. There are also fears that other long stay nursing homes will meet a similar fate and one of the consequences of this decision will be that, because Crooksling will no longer take patients from Tallaght and St James’s Hospitals, critical bed space will be unavailable for lengthier periods of time. This means it will be difficult to for high dependency patients to find alternative care. Already the Minister has only been able to confirm that the Inchicore facility can only accommodate 50 patients, a shortfall of at least 30.
“If the Minister does not reverse this decision then he will have failed the staff and patients of Crooksling. At the very least, the transfer of residents and staff to Hollybrook Community Nursing Unit in Inchicore and other units around the Dublin/Mid Leinster area must be carried out sensitively. The HSE must also honour its commitment and ensure that families will not be forced to pay additional costs for the care of their loved ones whenever they are relocated.
“Every effort must be made by the government to ensure staff find alternative employment close to where they live. Of further concern is the fact that some members of staff have lived at the facility for many years and will now have find a new home as well as a new job.” ENDS