New role for district hospital in Laois outlined by HSE

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Abbeyleix hospital has 'long term future' says government, but action committee not convinced

Thousands marching to save Abbeyleix community nursing unit in 2012. Pic Alf Harvey

The former Abbeyleix district hospital is to be redesignated for step down and transitional care for older people according to Laois Offaly TD and Minister Charlie Flanagan.

Laois/Offaly TD and Minister for Justice & Equality, Charlie Flanagan, has said that he has been in further contact with the HSE regarding plans for Abbeyleix Community Nursing Unit (CNU) and the HSE has confirmed the following.

“It is planned that Abbeyleix CNU will move to become an Integrated Hospital and Community Older Person Hub, which will include eighteen short stream intermediate step down /transitional care beds, governed by the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, in addition to two long-term care and eight short stream/respite beds governed by Community Older person services.”

“It is intended that the medical governance of the hub will be shared between a Community Consultant Geriatrician and Medical Officer. The team are continuing to explore options for the hospital grounds which will encompass and expand Primary Care facilities on site, with an opportunity for a supportive housing development build to cater for the needs of the older person, inclusive of persons living with dementia.”

“The Project Development team will continue to meet and progress with Winter planning 2020/21 plans over the coming months.

"This development of the hub and grounds will be dependent on available funding and associated staffing,” he said.

The HSE wanted to shut the hospital in 2011. Since then it has changed from being a long-stay residential facility to a short term respite care centre with a community outreach aspect. 

An action group that stopped closure want it to be configured as a much bigger facility.