South East Community Healthcare this week completed the planned transfer of 49 residents from St. Patrick’s Hospital to new facilities prepared at the former Our Lady’s Hospital building in Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel (and its associated facility at St. Anthony’s Unit in Clonmel) is a residential care centre for older people, serving the local population in South Tipperary in provision of long stay, respite, dementia and rehab care.
As part of ongoing consultation with the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) and as a response to Covid 19 risks going forward, the upgrade works necessary to make the nearby former Our Lady’s Hospital suitable for long stay, residential use were developed by the HSE’s Estates Dept.
Arrangements were then made for residents and staff of the St. Anne’s/St. Bernadette’s and St. Benedict’s wards at St. Patrick’s to move to the new accommodation and ancillary facilities established at Our Lady’s.
Acute hospital inpatient care was transferred from the former Our Lady’s Hospital to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel in 2007.
Catering services for all health facilities locally in Cashel are based at the Our Lady’s campus.
The present (21 bed) Rehabilitation Unit and Day Hospital on site at St. Patrick’s Hospital will continue to operate as normal and the (11 bed) St. Claire’s Ward already located on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital is also not affected by the transfer.
Available space at St. Patrick’s will be utilised for some healthcare services that had been based in the main Our Lady’s building in Cashel.
The HSE/South East Community Healthcare (SECH) have been liaising with residents, their families and staff representatives in respect of all arrangements and the transfer with the best interests of residents and staff in mind from St. Patrick’s was carried out efficiently (including with the help of the HSE’s Technical Services staff and Co. Tipperary Red Cross) on Monday, June 8.
Such services as the Minor Injuries Unit and Radiology facilities will continue to operate as normal at Our Lady’s.
Lorica (a 9 bed high support mental health residential services unit), Ré Nua (6 bed residential unit for those with intellectual disability), the Carraig Óir mental health day hospital, facilities for the Irish Wheelchair Association, the Caredoc Out of Hours GP Service and the ambulance station – all of which are on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital – will continue to operate as normal.
A number of primary care services (including Public Health Nurses), in addition to the South Tipperary Enablement Programme (STEP) for older persons will also continue to be based at Our Lady’s.
The HSE’s Capital Plan provides for construction of a new 60 bed Residential Centre (to replace the St. Anne’s/St. Bernadette’s and St. Benedict’s wards) on a site adjacent to St. Patrick’s Hospital in Cashel and a 50 bed Residential Centre on an adjacent site at Glenconnor, Clonmel to replace St. Anthony’s Unit.
Speaking after the move was completed this week, Bridget Farrell (Manager for Older Person’s Care Services, South Tipperary) said: “We had a great team working on this project. The Estates Dept. of the HSE put in Trojan work in modifying Our Lady’s to take in its new residents. We made sure that everything is in place at what is a new home for 49 local people. The fact that we were able to effect this move at a time of Covid 19 restrictions and a ban on visiting at St. Patrick’s is a tribute to everyone involved.”
Director of Nursing for St. Patrick’s, Barry Power added: “Several staff members have been on the St. Patrick’s healthcare team for over four decades and we’re very conscious that the hospital in Cashel (and St. Anthony’s Unit in Clonmel) has an excellent reputation as a care facility. We are deeply appreciative of the support the hospital receives from families of residents and the wider community (including at this current, challenging time), we apologise for any inconvenience and assure the public that the welfare of residents is a priority for staff and management. Indeed, we look forward before too long to welcoming in family and friends to see the fine new home their loved ones are settling into.”
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