Friends of Abbeyleix Hospital Committee have slowed down their fundraising efforts, while they wait on the verdict on the future of the hospital.
Chairperson of the committee, Marty Rohan said they had been holding back in case they need to do a major fundraising drive in the near future.
“We’ve been continuing with our weekly whist drive which has raised around €30,000 since it started.
“But we have been holding back to find out what’s happening with the hospital.
“There are hundreds of friends there waiting to help, once the future of the hospital is secured.”
Through the years, the money raised by the Friends of Abbeyliex has been spent on specialised beds and mattress, art teacher, drama teacher, anything that would benefit the patients.
Mr Rohan said the Friends of Abbeyleix had been supporting the Abbeyleix Hospital Action Group to ensure that the future of the hospital is secured.
“It doesn’t make sense what’s happening at the minute, there are people that should be in Abbeyleix but they are in Roscrea or Stradbally.
EThe fair deal beds should be there for long stay patients. But the HSE is like two goats pulling against each other at the minute.”
The Friends of Abbeyleix Hospital Committee have a long standing tradition of fundraising for Abbeyleix Hospital. It was pointed out by the Action Committee in their submission to the HSE during their consultations on the future of the hospital that through the tireless work of the Friends of Abbeyleix Hospital Committee almost €90,000 was donated and spent by the HSE on Abbeyleix CNU.
“We have the funding to keep it going as it is at the minute, but we have tried to refrain from doing any other fundraising for the hospital. We kept the whist going as it was as much a social event each week, as it was a fundraiser,” Mr Rohan explained.
In their submission, the Action Committee committed to maintaining “this tradition into the future with a focus on
providing the community contribution towards the upgrading works to comply with HIQA National Quality Standards for Residential Care Settings for Older People in Ireland 2008 in order to retain the Community Nursing Unit at Abbeyleix as part of a comprehensive remodelling of the overall healthcare provision within Abbeyleix District Hospital.”
“We didn’t want people going out and fundraising for the hospital, because people would be asking what was going to happen to the money.
“We want to keep people’s goodwill in case we need them to come together for a big event to raise a lot of money.”
Mr Rohan sad it was hard to see how the Minister could refuse their submission, but he said his committee were getting frustrated.
“The Friends of Abbeyleix Hospital are anxious to meet the Minister too, we are beginning to get frustrated now. The submission was in in plenty of time, it’s hard to see what the delay is on reaching a decision.
“It would be hard to turn it down though, it’s exactly what they have been talking about.”