There has been no statement from the HSE, Minister for Health or Junior Minister for Mental Health regarding the closure or possible downgrading of a number of Mental Health facilities in Roscommon.
At a meeting on Wednesday staff at the Willow Grove Day Centre and the Renbrack Hostel in Boyle were informed that their facilities were set to be closed. Similar facilities in Athleague, Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown are also under threat. It is believed that some of the residents and users of the facilities will be relocated to private accommodation while others will be transported to consolidated facilities.
Speaking on the issue yesterday evening Michael Fitzmaurice TD said “In correspondence with the Minister of state in recent weeks, I was informed that services were under review but that no decisions had been made. However, I believe today that those decisions have now been made and plans are being made to implement the changes. I have contacted the Ministers’ office in recent hours to seek clarity on this matter.”
Deputy Fitzmaurice added “The changes I have been informed of would affect services users in Strokestown and Athleague with the closure of residential mental health homes. Ballaghaderreen and Strokestown, I am told will also lose their day care centres, with service users to be bussed to alternative services. Units in the Castlerea area will also be affected. I fear it is essentially downgrading and closure by stealth. Boyle’s day care services are also under threat based on what I have been told.”
Michael Fitzmaurice also commented on a change of policy regarding Day Care and Respite Care Services. “Most startling of all I have been informed that in recent weeks and months, people over the age of 65 have not been referred for any day care services and instead front line staff have been instructed to refer them directly into nursing homes, I am waiting on confirmation of this also but have been reliably informed that it is the case. If that is the case then it is simply outrageous”
“The report into Mental Health Services in the county is now 10 months overdue and I raised this in the Dail yesterday. I want Minister McEntee and Minister Harris to make an urgent statement on these matters immediately” he concluded.