Local TD Denis Naughten has been informed that plans for a regional rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital have been put on hold since the pandemic in 2020 and won’t be considered again until later in 2023.
“This admission by the HSE that it has long-fingered the rehabilitation unit is not the first time this project was delayed,” stated Denis Naughten. “Back in 2016 I discovered that the funding for Roscommon’s rehabilitation unit had been dropped from the capital plan even though it had been on the HSE list 12 months earlier.
“At that stage I secured the approval to proceed with the project, which had to wait for a bigger development at the National Rehabilitation Hospital to be completed.”
Denis Naughten continued: “This project was committed to by Government back in 2011 when the A&E at Roscommon Hospital was closed, but it seems that the HSE continues to find reasons to delay the planning for the project.”
The plan is to construct a new 25 bed rehabilitation unit at Roscommon University Hospital as an outreach unit for the National Rehabilitation Hospital. The intention is that it will benefit people recovering from serious injury and stroke throughout the midlands and west of Ireland.
It will also take pressure off beds in the Dun Laoghaire hospital where it is not uncommon for people to have to wait for over a year to access rehabilitative services.
“What has been really frustrating up to now is that if patients can access this treatment earlier, and for far longer, they can make significant leaps forward towards making a full recovery,” said Denis Naughten.
“The fact is that rehabilitative medicine has huge potential and up to now has been very much a forgotten aspect of our health service. Roscommon already has a strong reputation when it comes to rehabilitative medicine, with one of the most modern rehabilitative services of its kind at the Sacred Heart Hospital.
“The objective should be to ensure that more patients are treated closer to home and in a timely manner. The further delay to this project is completely unacceptable,” concluded Denis Naughten.