Government keeping new Nenagh nursing home closed

21 February 2024
  • Kelly urges an end to the recruitment embargo
  • Fianna Fáil failing on health

Labour TD Alan Kelly has demanded the lifting of the HSE recruitment ban which is seeing many much needed care facilities, like Nenagh nursing home, remain closed.

Deputy Kelly said:

“This Government is utterly failing on health. We have a Fianna Fáil led health department and we have a growing and ageing population yet there is no plan in place by Fianna Fáil, Minister Donnelly or his Government colleagues to provide care for those who need it most.

“The HSE recruitment embargo must be lifted without delay. I would urge Minister Donnelly and his Fianna Fáil colleagues and supporters to wake up to the crisis coming down the tracks.

“The failure to manage our health service has led to the ridiculous and unacceptable situation where the new community hospital in Nenagh is unable to open.

“I announced funding for a new 50 bed state of the art community hospital in the town in 2016 and worked with the HSE to find a suitable site beside Nenagh Hospital in 2017; brought the Minister for Elderly Care to visit the site in 2018; and worked with everyone to ensure planning was approved in 2019 and construction commenced thereafter.

“I was delighted in May 2022 when the Minister confirmed the to me in writing that it was expected that the new nursing home would be completed in May 2023. That didn’t happen but it was substantially completed by the end of last year which was great.

“I was expecting as a consequence that the new nursing home would be opening soon and that current residents would transfer there and new residents would arrive.

“I know many, many families who wish to see their relatives and family members become residents of this fabulous facility.

“Unfortunately the news I recently received from Government is very depressing. Through a parliamentary question I put down to Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly, I have been informed by the HSE that they are not in a position to open the facility and they are ‘unable to ascertain a timeline’ for doing so.

“In essence the embargo that is in place for recruitment in the HSE means that they cannot open the facility as they cannot recruit the necessary staff.

“This is absolutely outrageous. Government is failing to provide care and is failing abysmally in the health brief.

“The existing nursing home in Nenagh, St Conlon’s, won’t meet HIQA requirements which is why we had to build this new community nursing home. But now we can’t open it because of the HSE recruitment embargo and this Government are allowing this to happen.

“HSE staff locally and in the region are completely frustrated and depressed about the situation.

“The Government and their supporters need to be woken up by the people of Nenagh and surrounds that this is not acceptable. I fought for this new unit. I worked every year to bring it to this stage. It is an incredible building and so badly needed and deserved. We now need to get it open and this.”

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