Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Questions (780)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

780. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Minister for Health if his attention has been drawn to a letter sent to the Cathaoirleach of Roscommon County Council from the private secretary to the Minister for Health in December 2015 outlining the future of a dementia unit (details supplied); if a copy of the letter will be provided; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [19000/19]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

I understand that following clarification from the Deputy's office the correspondence in question was dated 23rd July 2015 rather than December 2015. I am aware of the issues contained in this letter. A copy of this correspondence, which relates to the Rosalie Unit in Castlerea, will be sent to the Deputy. The letter of 23rd July 2015 clearly indicated that the Rosalie Unit would continue to be part of HSE healthcare provision for Roscommon in the future. There has been no change to that position.

The current position in regard to this unit is that, arising from the recommendations of a recent clinical independent report, the HSE recently commenced the process of arranging alternative and more appropriate care options for the residents of Rosalie Unit. Extensive and detailed consultations have been and are ongoing with local representatives and stakeholders on all relevant issues.

As I, and the HSE, have indicated on many occasions the way forward for the residents of Rosalie has been based solely on clinical and independent conclusions of health professionals. The recent decision on Rosalie also reflects the findings of the Review of the Mental Health Service in Roscommon, undertaken in 2017 to modernise provision in that area.

I have always encouraged public representatives and the media to take a responsible approach when commenting on the HSE decision to transfer patients residing at Rosalie to more appropriate health facilities to better meet their changing health care needs.

In the wider context, it is important to note that the Rosalie Unit will not close. I remain absolutely committed to this valuable facility continuing to provide modern and high quality health care to the people of Roscommon. I have asked the Department of Health, and the HSE, to conclude a decision on this in near future. The Deputy can rest assured that I will continue to liaise closely with all relevant local stakeholders on this matter.