Local TD Denis Naughten has sought an update in the Dáil on the construction of a new long-stay facility on the campus of the Sacred Heart Hospital in Roscommon Town following concerns in an internal Health Information & Quality Authority (HIQA) Report that 40 HSE run nursing homes, including the Sacred Heart Hospital, were failing to comply with new minimum standards for residents’ bedrooms.
“While the Sacred Heart Hospital management is presently addressing these concerns by reducing the capacity of some wards, the fact remains that the only long-term solution is a completely new building,” said Denis Naughten in response to media reports on the HIQA report.
He went on to point out: “In Government, I secured a commitment that these works would commence in 2021 but today we are still waiting for the planning application to be submitted to Roscommon County Council.
“While it is reassuring that plans are in train to submit a planning application for the new Sacred Heart Hospital building, it is imperative that this project is progressed to construction without any further delay.
“The fact remains that HIQA set a deadline for registration of the Sacred Heart Hospital and 39 other long stay public hospitals to meet their standards by 1st January 2022 and we are now living on borrowed time.”
Denis Naughten added: “Due to the number of long-stay hospitals that are not in compliance with HIQA standards it is very unlikely, in the short term, that they would be forced to close but it is likely there could be further pressure to reduce the bed numbers.
“This facility provides a vital long stay service to older people, particularly those who have complex care needs, and any reduction in bed numbers would directly impact on our older people. It also provides one of the best rehabilitation services of its kind in Ireland or the UK and with our growing older population investment in a modern Sacred Heart Hospital is key to the future of health care locally.”
Responding to the question raised by Denis Naughten, the Health Minister said that he had asked the HSE to provide him with a direct response on the status of the new building project.
Editor’s Note: Irish Times report & Dáil reply below.
Link to Irish Times Report: Residents in 40 HSE-run nursing homes living in unsuitable rooms (irishtimes.com): https://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/residents-in-40-hse-run-nursing-homes-living-in-unsuitable-rooms-1.4848275
For Written Answer on : 06/04/2022
Question Number(s): 240 Question Reference(s): 18712/22
Asked by: Denis Naughten T.D.
To ask the Minister for Health the current status of the 50-bed construction project at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Roscommon; when the planning application will be submitted; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
As the Health Service Executive is responsible for the delivery of public healthcare infrastructure projects, I have asked the HSE to respond to you directly in relation to this matter.