Staffing concerns could affect reopening of St Vincent’s

Local Fianna Fáil councillor, Aengus O’Rourke, has raised concerns regarding staffing issues at St Vincent’s Care Centre.

Cllr O’Rourke informed this week’s meeting (March 6 ) of the Athlone Municipal District that a series of retirements and centre staff handing in their notice has left St Vincent’s with staffing issues that could affect its reopening.

Staff from St Vincent’s spoke with Cllr O’Rourke last weekend, informing them that the HSE has been in touch to ask them to work extended hours on their return to the centre, outside of what is outlined in their contracts. The staff in question said they now have reservations regarding returning to St Vincent’s at all.

Cllr O’Rourke said staff shortages may result in just one level of St Vincent’s being reopened to meet the end of March deadline, while he also referred to the hospice being “under pressure”.

He told the meeting that the HSE needed to communicate the exact plan that is in place for opening St Vincent’s “as we know it”.

It was decided that attempts will be made to contact the local management of the HSE. However, if a response is not received, a deputation will be sent to meet Minister for Health, Simon Harris.

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