Written Answers. - County Sligo Nursing Home.

478.

asked the Minister for Health if he is aware that part of St. John of God's old persons' nursing home at Ballymote, County Sligo, will have to be vacated next winter due to the deplorable condition of the building; and if the necessary funds will be made available to allow planning of the new unit to continue during 1980, as promised in the reply to parliamentary Question No. 554 on 20 February 1980.

479.

asked the Minister for Health why further to the undertaking given in the reply to parliamentary Question No. 554 on 20 February 1980 concerning a new home for old persons at the St. John of God's residence, Ballymote, County Sligo, a letter of sanction has not yet been received by the North Western Health Board; if he is aware that letters from the board to his Department have not been replied to to-date; and if he will explain the reason for this and ensure that approval of the design brief will be issued to the board immediately, to enable the next stage of planning to proceed.

With the permission of the Ceann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 478 and 479 together.

A letter issued to the North Western Health Board on 20 June 1980 conveying my agreement to the draft design brief for the proposed new geriatric unit at Ballymote, County Sligo. It was not possible to issue the letter as soon as it was originally intended as some further examination of the brief and the proposed arrangement for the management of the unit was necessary.

I will make the necessary funds available to allow planning of the unit to be undertaken in the current year.

I understand that the existing old persons home is in an unsatisfactory state of repair and the health board are examining arrangements for the tem porary accommodation of 18 of the patients from the home. The order in charge of the home will provide temporary accommodation for the remaining patients.