Restriction on admissions to Sacred Heart Hospital temporarily averted

The restriction on admissions to Sacred Heart Hospital, Roscommon town which was due to come into force on Monday, has been averted.

  The news emerged as crowds from throughout the county attended a public meeting on the subject in the Abbey Hotel, Roscommon town.

  The brief reprieve comes after the Health Service Executive appealed the decision by the health watchdog.

  The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) had ordered the HSE not to admit any new patients to the 45 of the 80 nursing home beds in the hospital that did not comply regulations.

  However, the HSE appealed this decision to HIQA, who have an indefinite timeframe in which to respond. In the meantime, normal business will continue in all of the nursing home, run by the HSE.

  “It’s open for admissions at the moment,” said John McDermott, chairperson of the Roscommon Hospital Action Committee.

  HIQA believe that the hospital falls short of modern standard and want a commitment from the HSE and the Government to rebuild it. The 50-bedded unit proposed, with en suite bathrooms, would cost up to €13 million.

  So far, Health Minister Leo Varadkar has not indicated whether that would be allocated to the HSE in capital funding announcements.

  Mr McDermott, who met with HSE officials in the hospital on Wednesday, said: “The HSE are looking for a year to get a decision on the capital funding.

  “They are asking HIQA to consider allowing them an extension of 12 months under the current situation to get the capital funding in place.”

  The Sacred Heart Hospital is one of dozens of State-run nursing homes nationwide that doesn’t comply with modern health standards.

  A HSE spokesperson confirmed: “The HSE has submitted a response to the 28-day notice of proposal from HIQA.

  “The response outlines that a proposal to address the concerns raised by HIQA is being considered at national level, particularly between the HSE and the Department of Health.

  “We are awaiting further information with regards to it.”

  However, Mr McDermott believes the ball is firmly in the Minister’s court.

  “Everybody is irrelevant except the Minister for Health and his capital allocation and whether Roscommon is on that or not,” he said.