The South Westmeath Hospice committee is to seek legal advice following the conclusion of recent discussions with the HSE relating to the proposed transfer of facilities from the palliative care unit on Northgate Street to the new 50 bed community nursing unit planned for Clonbrusk.
Noting a sense of utter devastation following the discussions, South Westmeath Hospice Chairperson, Clare Lennon, stated that the plans presented by the HSE at the recent meeting were unacceptable.
“At a recent meeting with representatives of the South Westmeath Hospice, the HSE withdrew elements of a draft agreement and gave the committee two weeks in which to respond. Throughout the meeting the HSE adopted a rigid approach leaving little scope for movement towards an agreement.
“What was presented differed from the agreement reached at a meeting on October 7, 2020. Despite commitments to send the agreed proposals to national office for approval, this has not materialised.
“Throughout this process, the Hospice committee has conducted itself with honour and a spirit of collegiality in order to reach a solution. Despite this being a very important meeting, members of the HSE denied access to the Hospice representatives for approximately 20 minutes and in place of any constructive negotiation told us what was going to happen. The plans presented by the HSE are unacceptable and we are now taking legal advice. We will also reignite our ‘Save Your Hospice’ campaign,” Ms Lennon asserted.