The HSE will temporarily transfer residents and staff of two long-stay wards at St Patrick's Hospital in Cashel to the nearby Our Lady's Hospital building over the next few weeks as an infection control measure in the Covid-19 public health emergency.
The HSE said it was taking this step after consulting with the Health information and Quality Authority (HIQA) to maximise infection control measures in the current crisis. St Patrick's Hospital is a South East Community Healthcare residential centre for older people providing long stay, respite, dementia and rehab care.
The HSE said arrangements are being made for residents of the 26-bed St Anne's/St Bernadette's and 23-bed St Benedict's wards at St Patrick's Hospital to move to new accommodation, associated ancillary and recreational facilities being established at Our Lady's Hospital building.
“Previous design work carried out at Our Lady’s, following its closure in 2007, rendered it adaptable to resumption of in-patient accommodation to modern standards.
“Catering services for all health facilities are based at Our Lady’s campus,” said the HSE in a statement.
The statement explained the HSE/South East Community Healthcare is liaising with staff representatives in respect of all arrangements being made in Cashel.”
The HSE stressed the transfer of these wards at St Patrick's was happening on an “interim basis” and being undertaken with best interests of residents and staff in mind.
It pointed out that the 21-bed Rehabilitation Unit located in the grounds of St Patrick's Hospital and 11-bed St. Claire’s Ward located on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital are not affected by the transfer.
The HSE said available space at St. Patrick’s will be utilised for some services currently based in Our Lady’s main building in Cashel.
It pointed out that 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, a 6-bed residential unit for those with intellectual disability; the Carraig Óir mental health day hospital; the Caredoc Out-of-Hours GP Service and the ambulance station, which are all located on the grounds of Our Lady’s Hospital, will also continue to operate as normal.
The HSE apologised for any inconvenience the transfer will cause to St Patrick's Hospital residents and their families.
“South East Community Healthcare is deeply appreciative of the support the hospital receives from the families of residents and the wider community in South Tipperary including at this challenging time.”
“The HSE apologises for any inconvenience and assures the public that the welfare of residents and patients in the hospital is a priority for staff and management.”