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No plan to close day care centre

The Health Service Executive (HSE) has said that bringing forward the annual two-week closure of the day centre at Raheen Community Hospital in East Clare from August to June does not mean there are plans to shut the centre down.
However, County Councillor Joe Cooney has said he is concerned about budgetary constraints at the facility and is hoping it would not mean further reductions in beds at the in-patient facility.
“I would have grave concern for the day centre in Raheen. There was a meeting organised last Thursday, where a HSE representative outlined that they were bringing forward their holidays and there would be no two weeks’ holidays in August. It is inconvenient for people and some people have no plans organised,” Councillor Cooney commented.
He outlined that the hospital lost three beds due to the HIQA report, down from 33 to 30, which he said is also a big concern.
“I hope there will be no further reductions. It’s disappointing and hopefully there won’t be more. I am calling on the HSE to keep us informed of any cutbacks, lay-offs, or closures,” he said.
In a statement issued last week, the HSE said, “The day centre will close on Monday, May 24 and reopen on June 8 and, in view of this, the normal August closure will not take place. All involved including families, the Friends of Raheen Hospital and local representatives have been briefed on the change.”
A HSE spokesperson said the change was a matter of internal housekeeping to allow the director of nursing to facilitate staff leave and concentrate resources on in-patient services.
“In many respects, Raheen is a model in the provision of care for the elderly and enjoys a level of support from the community and Friends of Raheen that is quite outstanding. We recognise the importance of routine in the lives of older people and that any change, even if minor, can assume a disproportionate importance if not explained. That is why we engage so fully with patients, families and local bodies on this issue,” the spokesperson said.

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