Fine Gael TD John O’Mahony has announced that the potential closure of 12 beds at the Swinford District Hospital has been averted.
Speaking to the Mayo Advertiser yesterday (Thursday ) Dep O’Mahony stated: “It had been suggested that 12 beds in the hospital would have to close because of the retirement of a number of nurses and care workers in the near future. The loss of such a number of beds would have been detrimental to the hospital. But I was delighted to learn today that money had been allocated from a special fund, that is earmarked to maintain frontline services in critical areas to keep these beds open.”
It is understood that the amount of funding to keep the beds open is in the region of €100,000.
Dep O’Mahony added: “These type of beds are critical to our health services, they allow recuperation and convalescence by patients away from the acute hospitals and free up beds for the other patients in our acute hospitals. They are vital for the provision of services and this is therefore good news for the county as a whole. I’d also like to thank the HSE West and all involved in finding a solution to this problem.”
Dep O’Mahony and his party constituency colleague Dep Michele Mulherin are both also hopeful that a similar solution may be found to a similar problem in Ballina District Hospital.
Dep Mulherin this week stated: “I am really hopeful that a solution is nearly in place to ensure we retain St Joseph’s as a 50-bed step down facility. This will entail home help workers coming in to assist in the hospital. I wish to praise the staff at Ballina District Hospital who are willing to change work practices to save hospital beds and retain the services of St Joseph’s.
“I also wish to compliment Frank Murphy, HSE manager, and director of nursing Marie Alexander, for all their work towards a resolution.
“In relation to potential changes to the psychiatric unit, I am assured that no patient will be left without a service. A working group comprising consultants, the nursing manager, and staff representatives has been constituted to make recommendations in light of current constraints on improving services currently on offer at the psychiatric unit.”