A review of the Rowan Ward HIV respite service found that when the Rowan Ward was set up in 1990 its purpose was to provide end stage palliative care to AIDS patients. In more recent times, the ward had come to provide respite and stabilisation for a limited number of HIV patients who were also clients of the HSE addiction services. Given these changes in the Rowan Ward service model the review outlined alternative care pathways for the Rowan Ward client base within the homeless/addiction sector.
Following the review, the HSE proposed to close the Rowan Ward and to locate the service in an existing service in the homeless/addiction sector. This was accomplished by the creation of eight dedicated beds for the Rowan Ward patient group within an addiction/homeless service currently provided by Dublin Simon in Ushers Island. The transfer of Rowan Ward clients to the Ushers Island facility commenced on 1st September 2012, overseen by a steering group consisting of statutory and voluntary service providers. The new service provides a more amenable care pathway for the Rowan Ward HIV patients and the staff in the Ushers Island complex will be better positioned to manage clients with addiction associated issues. This approach will see Dublin Simon taking responsibility for the service, thereby delivering improved clinical governance as part of a Service Level Agreement.
The Rowan Ward clients have been temporarily located within the existing Ushers Island campus. However, a new unit is nearing completion in a separate building which is currently being refurbished, and this will serve as a permanent home for the Rowan Ward clients. No planning application was required for this refurbishment work as it only involves internal structural development.