The uncertainty over the future of a number of Roscommon Mental Health facilities has came to prominence again after the minutes from internal HSE meeting held in September were leaked to Shannonside FM.
According to Shannonside FM the minutes of the meeting suggested that the number of Roscommon Mental Health be reduced and consolidated in line with the HSE’s ‘Vision for Change’ document.
The proposals included in the minutes include:
– Ballaghaderreen and Castlerea Day Centres will amalgamate and be run from a new service to be known as – Knockroe Resource Centre in Castlerea.
– The Strokestown Day Centre will be closed, with the service-users to be transferred to Roscommon town or Castlerea.
– The Roscommon Day Centre is set for amalgamation with Corina House, a training centre in the town, over the next four or five months.
– the existing facilities in Boyle are set to be replaced by a “Club House” model
The minutes of an August meeting noted that there will be “difficult conversations” with service-users and families ahead.
Speculation on the future of the facilities began a number of weeks ago with rumours that some of the above-mentioned facilities were set to close in “4-6 weeks”. At the time the HSE released the following statement
The HSE National Director for Mental Health Services commissioned a review of mental health services in Roscommon last year (August 2015).
While this review is still on-going, we expect it will be completed over the coming weeks. This review will inform any decisions that might be made in relation to the services going forward.
It is the case that we routinely review various HSE services. The purpose of this review is to ensure on-going improvements to service delivery. However, where changes are required, these are carried out in consultation with service users / residents, their families where appropriate and with our own staff.
Rumours in relation to Community Nursing units in Co. Roscommon are untrue.
We have no plans to close Aras Naomh Caolain in Castlerea or to relocate residents to private nursing homes.”
Mr. Tony Canavan the Chief Officer to Community Health Organisation Area 2, which covers Roscommon, Galway and Mayo has agreed to meet local politicians and HSE West Forum members in Roscommon town on Friday to discuss the issue.
At yesterday’s meeting of Roscommon County Council the members expressed their anger at contradictory public statements from the HSE on plans for centres. Roscommon County Council, Director of Services for Housing Derek Caldbeck said that he was not aware that residents of Roscommon mental health hostels had received letters informing them they are on a housing waiting list.
Reacting to the news Senator Frank Feighan said he has already raised local concerns about the future of some mental health day care centres in County Roscommon with Minister of State for Mental Health, Helen McEntee.
“A number of people have contacted my office worried about reports that a number of mental health day care centres in Roscommon could be either closed or amalgamated. These reports have caused anxiety for many families who rely on these facilities for valuable support and there is an urgent need to get clarification and reassurance for service-users. That is why I have already corresponded with Minister McEntee and asked her to allay concerns that none of these services will be affected in any way.”
Councillor Domnick Connolly said “I am calling on the Government and the Minister to publish the findings of the review carried out into services in the county. The publication of this report has been delayed far too long and all the stakeholders deserve to see the details and plan accordingly. The air needs to be cleared on this major issue as soon as possible as there has been huge uncertainty over the past few weeks and months”
“I also support Minister Naughten who has demanded clarity on this issue as well, and I will be awaiting with interest the outcome of the meeting between the HSE West and Roscommon HSE West Forum members which is due to take place on Friday”.