Taoiseach commits to the future of Dean Maxwell Home in Roscrea

Noel Dundon

Reporter:

Noel Dundon

Email:

nd@tipperarystar.ie

Taoiseach commits to the future of Dean Maxwell Home in Roscrea

The Dean Maxwell Home in Roscrea - An Taoiseach Micheal Martin has committed to the future of the centre

An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin has given a commitment to Deputy Michael Lowry of a meeting with Minister for Health, Deputy Stephen Donnelly to discuss the Dean Maxwell Home, Roscrea situation in as requested.

'The Dean Maxwell Community Home will continue to play its role in Roscrea. The Dean Maxwell has a long and proud history and is a home away from home for its residents," An Taoiseach said adding  that the Government is committed to continuing the provision of services and meeting care needs for the elderly in Roscrea.

He also stated that the developments in Nenagh do not mean that Roscrea services will be reduced and  confirmed that the Dean Maxwell will be registered with HIQA for the next 3 years.

Speaking in the Dail at Leaders Questions, Deputy Michael Lowry had raised the issue of the future of the Dean Maxwell Community Nursing Home with An Taoiseach, Micheal Martin.He stated that, in Roscrea in Tipperary, there is one issue that over-shadows all others. ‘

“This vital 27 bed elderly care residential home and day-care facility is dying a slow death. This Centre is cherished by the people of Roscrea.  The management and staff of Dean Maxwell provide an excellent service for the people of the local community.  The level and quality of care is acknowledged and appreciated by the people of Roscrea.  It is an integral part of the fabric of the local community.  The facility is almost 50 years old and no longer meets HIQA standards and is therefore under the threat of closure in 2021," stated Deputy Lowry.

"Roscrea is a community orientated town," he said.

"The people have fought passionately to save the Dean Maxwell to allow elderly members of their community to continue living in their own familiar locality. "The current Capital Spending Plan, introduced in 2016 by the then Labour Minister, did a serious injustice by the omission of Dean Maxwell.  That 5 year Service Plan, endorsed by the HSE, effectively consigns Dean Maxwell to lose its long-stay beds’,"Deputy Lowry told the Dail.  

"The Dean Maxwell Home and the people of Roscrea should not be deprived of it’s long-stay beds. Traditionally North Tipperary has had a distribution of long-stay beds between Thurles, Nenagh and Roscrea.  We had a new unit built in Thurles. A new unit for St. Conlon’s, Nenagh is being progressed. Dean Maxwell should not be left behind."

"Taoiseach,  I am requesting that you ensure that the current flawed HSE Service Plan is reviewed with the purpose of designing and building a new facility for Dean Maxwell, Roscrea. Dean Maxwell is being downgraded step by step. Slowly but gradually moving towards closure.  Unwritten closure.  Closure by stealth.  With the bare minimum of maintenance over the past 5 years the HSE knows full well that HIQA will intervene and deem it unfit for purpose. 

The HSE are a casual bystander awaiting the inevitability of closure. The HSE have done absolutely nothing to offer an alternative solution.   They seem happy to run down the clock. 

It is abundantly clear that it is HSE policy to transfer the long-stay beds from Roscrea to Nenagh," he said directly to Deputy Martin and added: "The blinkered attitude of Estate Management Section of the HSE towards Roscrea was confirmed by their dismissive response to a proposal to provide alternative accommodation in Roscrea. In a project that required no HSE Capital Funding,  the developer of the Primary Care Centre in Roscrea agreed to adapt plans to incorporate a purpose built 40 bed nursing home unit on the same site.  This would operate on a lease back agreement to be managed and run by the HSE.  With unprofessional haste or without due consideration, the HSE rejected the proposal.  They are unwilling and unable to provide a credible reason for their decision.  As the clock ticks on Dean Maxwell the HSE have failed to guarantee the future of elderly care in Roscrea."

"Taoiseach,  I have raised this matter in private with you and Minister Donnelly.  I request your intervention to find a sensible practical solution to retain the Dean Maxwell Home in Roscrea"

Deputy Lowry outlined that there are 3 options available; Review the detailed plan put forward by the Development Company to combine a new Nursing Home Unit on the same site as the new Medical Centre. The second option is to use the 3 acre green field site owned by the HSE at the rear of their Cre House Health Centre and build an ultra-modern HIQA compliant Community Nursing Home with a Capital Funding allocation. The third is to refurbish and extend the existing building. 

This is problematic as you can only extend to the front of the building which would encroach onto the adjoining public car park.  This carpark already overflows at Sunday Masses, weddings and funerals. There is also the issue of caring for residents while such work is ongoing. He concluded by stating emphatically:

"Taoiseach, this is a priority issue. It is imperative that the HSE Service Plan is revised to include Roscrea. It is vital that an elderly care project for Roscrea is included in the Capital Plan. To achieve progress on a viable solution I request that Minister Donnelly organise a meeting between Senior Estate Management of HSE,  Representatives of Roscrea Community Groups and elected Public Representatives,"  Lowry said