independent

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Call for more beds to be made available in community hospital

Published 04/06/2014 | 05:36

  • Share

A HSE decision to use unoccupied wards in Dingle Hospital for primary care services has been criticised by Kerry South TD Michael Healy Rae who said the wards should be used for their intended purpose of providing beds for patients rather than using hospital space for other purposes.

  • Share
  • Go To

A HSE decision to use unoccupied wards in Dingle Hospital for primary care services has been criticised by Kerry South TD Michael Healy Rae who said the wards should be used for their intended purpose of providing beds for patients rather than using hospital space for other purposes.

When the newly built hospital opened in October 2010 HIQA refused to allow the full complement of beds to be used because the hospital failed to fully meet the health authority's exacting standards. Since then the unused wards have remained empty and were likely to remain that way without a further major investment in the hospital.

The HSE now proposes to use that vacant space for other services, which is being taken as a clear signal that the investment required to bring the hospital fully up to HIQA standards will not be forthcoming.

West Kerry Community Hospital currently has 46 residential care beds of which 34 are long stay beds and 12 are short stay beds. The hospital also provides primary care services such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy, as well as a mental health day care service.

The Kerryman contacted the HSE on the matter who subsequently issued a statement outlining the current status of West Kerry Community Hospital in terms of its usage.

"The third module of the unit is unopened and it is not proposed to provide additional residential services in the hospital in 2014," a HSE spokesperson confirmed to The Kerryman.

"Some of the space in the third module has been used to provide a number of services for people in the area including drop in clinics HPV Clinic, Child Development, and other primary care services e.g. XPERT (management programmed for Type 2 Diabetes) and Stress Management programmes."

"From Sept 2014, all the Public Health Nursing clinics, together with the Community Mental Health Team sessions, and the Community Ophthalmology clinics will be run from this module.

This allows HSE staff to bring services to the West Kerry community rather than people having to travel significant journeys to Tralee."

"In addition, the West Kerry area has a significant level of home help and home care package services which maintain people in their own homes in accordance with the choice of the vast majority of older people."

"The HSE will continue to keep the matter under review, particularly during the estimates process for the 2015 service plan," the statement concluded.

Deputy Healy Rae raised the issue in the Dáil recently, describing how the space in the third module is being used is a "foolish act" at a time when more beds are required.

Kerryman

Read More

GrabOne Deals

News