Thursday 20 June 2019

St Aidan's and HSE agree short-term financial package

Minister Michael D’Arcy
Minister Michael D’Arcy

Sara Gahan

St Aidan's Day Care Centre and the HSE have reached an agreement to ensure the short term financial sustainability following a meeting held last week.

Minister Michael D'Arcy chaired the meeting between the HSE and members of St Aidan's Board of Directors and senior management. He also stated that an agreement was reached to conduct a service review that will lead to a set of actions to be presented to stakeholders.

'In the short term, financial sustainability has been agreed until February,' said Minister D'Arcy. 'In the medium to long term, we expect the matter to be concluded when we meet again at the end of February.'

Minister D'Arcy also added that the HSE fully commits to St Aidan's and ensured that the centre will not be closing.

The centre was in danger when it was announced in October by Chief Executive Officer Maura Kelly that St Aidan's was in a 'serious financial crisis' and that a core funding deficit of €277,151 per annum, which was identified and agreed with the HSE in 2016, had not been covered as promised. The HSE provided €167,771 on an ongoing basis towards the deficit but the outstanding amount reached €428,635.

Following last week's meeting, Cllr Malcolm Byrne said while the progress on the immediate funding challenge for St Aidan's is welcome, there remains a need to ensure the service is not put in that position again. 'There has to be financial certainty,' added Cllr Byrne.

Cllr Johnny Mythen said they 'cautiously welcome the guarantee of financial stability until February'.

'However, I would urge everyone to remain vigilant to ensure that we get a cast iron guarantee that full services and full employment will be guaranteed for the future following February review,' added Cllr Mythen.

Ms Kelly was unavailable for comment when contacted by this newspaper.

Gorey Guardian