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Cuts to Respite Beds and Long Stay Beds in Louth cause for concern – Adams

6 February, 2015 - by Gerry Adams

Sinn Féin Leader Gerry Adams TD has described a HSE breakdown on the availability of respite and long-stay beds in County Louth as deeply worrying. The Louth TD submitted a series of PQs to the Minister for Health.

Deputy Adams said:

“In the last five years, mainly as a result of the savage cuts introduced by the Fine Gael and Labour government, respite beds and long-stay beds have been dramatically reduced in county Louth. Under this government the number of respite beds in the Drogheda, Dundalk, Blackrock, and Ardee areas has sharply declined from 33 to 21. Each bed provides essential respite care to clients and their families.”

“For example in 2011 the four respite beds in St. Josephs in Ardee provided a service for 40 people. They are gone. The two beds in St. Peter’s provided a service in 2011 for 35 people. They are gone. The two beds in Carlingford PNH in 2011 provided a service for 40 people. They are gone. The loss of these respite beds, along with cuts to the respite care grant, has imposed serious hardship on families.”

“In addition there has been a dramatic reduction in the number of long stay beds in county Louth. In 2011 the number of long stay beds was 180. This has seen a 22% drop to 139 in 2015. The number of step down beds has increased from 3 to 23 but many of these were formally respite beds and with Our Lady of Lourdes Drogheda consistently suffering from long Emergency department trolley lists, in large part because of the inability of the hospital to discharge patients who no longer need to be there, the government’s health strategy is clearly not working.”

“The figures released to me in this PQ by the HSE reveal the appalling statistics behind the government’s cuts agenda and its failed health strategy. They cannot however reveal the individual and personal trauma for patients and families that these cuts have imposed. The government needs to abandon its austerity policies and invest in the health service.” 

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