I raised this issue a few months ago. The MacBride community nursing home in Westport, County Mayo, got planning permission for an extension. The nursing home has 49 full-time residents and 20 to 25 day patients. I compliment the matron and the staff on the excellent job they do. This badly needed extension is for the extra services that they want to provide, but also for the extra beds for people in the adjoining area who need full-time care in the home.
We are not talking about a lot of money, only €1.6 million. Last week, a major announcement was made in the subvention of home care packages and we were told that plenty of money would be made available for the elderly. Tonight, I hope the Minister will tell me that the MacBride nursing home will get funding for the extension that it badly needs. The staff are working under difficult circumstances. There is a health and safety aspect regarding the equipment in the home and it is time that the funding was provided for this facility. The facility is well used, as is the day care facility that is part of the home. The staff are doing an excellent job, but the funding needs to be put in place to provide the badly needed facility. I hope the Government will make that money available immediately. The planning has been done and the staff are still working under difficult circumstances. I raised this a number of months ago and I am disappointed that the money was not provided. The staff are disappointed and the people of Westport are disappointed, as are the patients who have their names on waiting lists.
There seems to be a new onus on community care organisations within the county. The first thing that happens when elderly people wish to go into a home is that they are handed a subvention form. They are forced to go outside their area and into private nursing homes. This is a publicly built nursing home and it has been very successful. The people in and around Westport like it and it is badly needed. The necessary funding is required for the extension so that the required equipment can be put in place and the extra services can be delivered. In the overall context of the health budget, €1.6 million is a very small amount of money but it is needed for this project so that the people can continue the excellent work they are doing in this nursing home.