Wednesday, 13th July 2011
I wish to appraise you of the current situation regarding the loss of the 26 bed St. Bridgids unit in St. Patrick's Hospital, Waterford.
St. Bridgids ward was closed in 2009 and the HSE gave a firm commitment that they would replace the ward with a new 50 bed nursing facility. Thirty months later we are still awaiting the start of this project.
Waterford City council has lifted the preservation order from former chapel in order to remove any impediment that may obstruct the construction of this new unit.
We have been assured by HSE South that the building of this unit is a priority objective. Waterford City has lost 26 bed units in their geriatric hospital in St. Patrick's whilst every other geriatric hospital has increased their bed capacity in Munster.
This is an intolerable situation and we appeal to you Minister to rectify this situation forthwith.
We know that you have visited St. Patrick's hospital in the past and recognize fully the dedicated care and attention that is given to their patients by a very experienced staff. St. Patrick's Hospital is held in very high regard by the citizens of Waterford and its environs, in fact there is a waiting list of over 300 persons to access this hospital.
Three times I have e-mailed your office and only received an acknowledgement of my representations. Members of the Oireachtas that represent the Waterford constituency have tabled questions but no definite response from your Department. I note that a speech delivered by Ciaran Cannon TD, Minister for State at the Dept. for Education & Skills, during the adjournment debate on the 14th June 2011, on the question raised by Senator David Cullinane that he made reference to the Prospectus Report which was commissioned in 2008. With all due respect to you Minister, this report was commissioned in 2008 and has been in the possession of the HSE. I wish to point out to you that the HSE were fully aware of its contents when they gave the commitment to build the new 50 bed nursing unit In 2009.
I appeal to you Minister once again to end the confusion and live up to the commitment given on behalf of your department to the people of Waterford that this 50 unit would be put in place as soon as possible.
Councillor Davy Walsh,
Waterford City Councillor
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