The HSE’s Chief Officer for Galway, Roscommon and Mayo, Tony Canavan, has responded to a number of questions raised by Cllr. Tony Ward recently.
In his response to Cllr. Ward’s query as to why the attendance allowance for mental health service users in Co. Roscommon was cut from €30 to €20, Mr. Canavan stated:
“The attendance allowance bring referred to was cut in two stages in November 2011 and February 2012. This brought the attendance allowance in line with allowances paid to persons attending FÁS and other services.
“However, we are aware that a different rate applies in Galway and Mayo…and therefore have asked for a review of the three counties to be conducted. We expect this to be completed in the first quarter of 2018”.
As for future plans concerning the use of a house at Cloonbrackna in Co. Roscommon, which was closed in 2015 for essential repairs, Mr. Canavan confirmed that a review of day services had commenced and the outcome of this review would inform any decisions to be made at local level. He added that any future change of use when it came to the house at Cloonbrackna would require a planning application from the local authority.
“This property was last used as a Residential Hostel. Any change to the use of the property would be a material change in use requiring an application for planning for change of use to Roscommon County Council”.
Mr. Canavan rejected Cllr. Ward’s assertion that three male service users were transferred to a house on the Galway Road “without any consultation with them or any family member”.
Mr. Canavan said that while the HSE couldn’t comment on individual cases, they could confirm that such transfers involved “intensive rehab work over a protracted period of time”. He added: “There is consultation with the families of the service users and they would meet on a number of occasions”.
Cllr. Ward also requested information from the HSE regarding the restoration of National School Dental Services in Ballyforan and Ballinasloe.
Mr. Canavan confirmed that the service in Ballyforan had been restored in October but had been relocated to the Primary Care Centre in Roscommon. He added that the executive had to “reorganise” the service in Ballinasloe for “a period of time” due to staff shortages but that it fully intended to restore the service as soon as resources are in place.