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Time For Minister To Stop Waffle On Sacred Heart Hospital And Provide Funding Immediately

I am today calling on the Minister for Health, Leo Varadkar and the HSE to stop playing games and to get their act together following the publication of the recent HIQA report on the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon. “Let’s be clear about this, there is only one group who come out badly out of this report and that is the Minister and the HSE. They cannot say they didn’t see this coming because they have made promises with regard to the Sacred Heart Hospital over the years but have failed to live up to these promises”

There is one line in this report which is striking fear into the hearts of the residents and undermining the morale of the brilliant staff at the hospital. This line refers to the physical structure of the building and concludes that features of the building are non-compliant to a “major” extent.
I worried that HIQA reports such as this can be a signpost for future plans by Government. “We have seen it in the past, first comes an unsafe verdict like this and next we see important and necessary facilities like this being left to run down”.
“Do we need an expensive quango to tell us that buildings will deteriorate over time if they are not kept properly maintained? Surely the energies of the Minister, The Department of Health, HSE and HIQA should be directed towards supporting the wonderful staff at the Sacred Heart Hospital rather than publishing a report which has left the whole community around Roscommon worried”.
“The people in HIQA are qualified medical professionals and I am sure that they do a good job however I would question as to how many of these investigators have ever dealt with people who are suffering from Dementia or Alzheimers disease. I recognise that it is 100% correct to expect high standards of care for our elderly, but we are approaching a situation where our excellent nurses and care staff are spending more and more of their time filling in forms and less and less time caring for our patients. It is beaurocracy gone mad. There has to be a correct balance”
“When one reads this report it provides a glowing testament to the staff and management at the Sacred Heart Hospital and it confirms what the local community already knows that the hospital is “well-managed” and it also acknowledges the residents and their families have said over and over again that they are “happy with the services”
“It is really worrying to read that in October 2014 the HSE stated at a meeting that ‘their plans for major renovations which included an extension or complete re-build were being completed by the architect and time bound plans were to sent to the authority’ I am now calling on Minister Varadkar and the HSE to come out of hiding and explain why no action has taken place on this matter since then”
County Roscommon has an ageing population and a very high number of persons who are registered as being Alzheimer sufferers. Sacred Heart Hospital is a key strategic service in Co. Roscommon providing residential care to almost one hundred persons including long term care, rehabilitation, respite and palliative care. In addition there are day-care services for about twenty-five people. The long waiting lists for all aspects of the services provided underline the needs that are out there in this area and also the loyalty of the local community to the Sacred Heart Hospital and its staff.
I am calling on the HSE and the Minister to stop the talking and provide the funding for whatever remedial actions are needed –this is the least our older people are entitled to and they and their families shouldn’t be left in a situation where they are worried about the long term viability of services. “Roscommon has seen enough, they closed our A&E and other services we cannot afford to stand by and watch the Sacred Heart Hospital suffer a similar fate. If there are works needed to be done then fund those works properly and let the staff at the Sacred Heart Home get on with the excellent job that they have been doing for decades.”