Sacred Heart Hospital: The latest views…

Future of Sacred Heart Hospital safe, claims Naughten Deputy Denis Naughten, has claimed that the long-term future of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon is now safe.

The 95-bed nursing home has been in the news since Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) said that, if it is not included in the Government’s capital funding programme (2016-2021) to be announced shortly, no new admissions will be permitted to 45 of the 80 long-stay beds.

On Wednesday of this week Deputy Naughten said that he has received confirmation from official quarters that the hospital will be on the programme.

He said: “My understanding, from the information I have got from the Department of Health and the HSE, is that the decision in relation to the Sacred Heart Hospital will be confirmed in the coming days, and that will secure its long-term future. It is on the list.”

HIQA has warned HSE management that a new 50-bed facility would need to be built, which would cost up to €13 million. The existing facility falls short of modern health regulations, due to its structure, size and the number of multi-occupancy rooms.

Deputy Naughten added: “The actual physical work won’t be taking place until later on in the capital programme, but that is sufficient to meet the requirements of HIQA for the Sacred Heart Hospital.”

HIQA had also said that immediate works, amounting to €170,000, would also need to be carried out in interim to bring the hospital up to standard. Yet Deputy Naughten said: “I am told that won’t be an issue – that it will be forthcoming.”

FG duo meet Varadkar on Sacred Heart Hospital future

Two local Fine Gael politicians, Cllr. Maura Hopkins and Deputy Frank Feighan, met with Health Minister Leo Varadkar again last week to discuss the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon town.

The future of the ‘County Home’ is in jeopardy because it does not comply with health regulations, due to its structure and multi-occupancy rooms.

Cllr. Hopkins said that she and Deputy Feighan emphasised to the Minister the importance of funding being allocated to build a replacement 50-bed facility to ensure the needs of older people continue to be met.

According to Cllr. Hopkins, the Minister said: “The case for funding community nursing units has been presented as effectively as possible. “We will also work with the HSE to prioritise available funds as effectively as possible.”

Cllr. Hopkins said that she was aware that urgent decisions need to be made and would continue to do everything she could in respect of this capital project.