HSE refuse Abbeyleix hospital talks

THE HSE has confirmed in writing to the local action committee that it will not sit down to discuss the terms of reference for consultation on Abbeyleix Community Nursing Home.

THE HSE has confirmed in writing to the local action committee that it will not sit down to discuss the terms of reference for consultation on Abbeyleix Community Nursing Home.

Action committee PRO, Gary O’Keeffe said they have been going around in circles over the last number of weeks trying to get the HSE to enter into discussions with them. But in a letter to the committee this week, the HSE declined to agreen an agenda. “(We) are not in a position to discuss the broad parameters of the consultation process at this stage.”

“They have no intention of sitting down with the Abbeyleix group. We were invited to send in a submission, but the committee feel that is not a meaningful or workable way to do things,” said Mr O’Keeffe.

In early December, the High Court was told that the proposal to close Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit had been set aside, to allow a period of consultation with residents and medical staff. The committee, who were mandated by the residents of the nursing home and their families to represent them, have continued in vain since to get the HSE to enter into discussions. This is the first contact the committee have had from the HSE despite numerous letters and phone calls.

“Unless we sit down with the HSE, anything else is a fudge and disingenous to the residents and their familes. Despite chasing the HSE for weeks to sit down to discuss the terms of reference of this consultation, we’ve just been going around in circles. We’re fuming with the attitude of the HSE, it’s not in keeping with what they promised,” he said.

Mr O’Keeffe said the HSE claimed that the consultation would be ‘robust, open, meaningful and transparent.”

“That’s a total contradiction. How can they put those two sentences in one letter,” he questioned. The Action Committee PRO said they had sought clarification from the HSE and Minister.