The Shaen Hosptial Action Committe have submitted plans to the HSE for the Alzheimers Society of Ireland to establish a Day Care centre to save the hospital from closure.
The Committee submitted their detailed proposal to the HSE area manager, Joe Ruane, last week and plan to formally submit it to the HSE representative leading the consultation process when it begins next week.
The proposal is based on the principal of a Public/Private/Community Partnership working together to maintain the services in St Brigids Hospital, Shaen.
The Day Care Centre would use an unoccupied 15 bed ward with assisted funding from the HSE, while seven beds which are currently unoccupied, would be designated for respite care.
The Alzheimers Society would ensure that the daycare centre was staffed and operated by their dementia specific trained personnel. The respite beds would be allocated to clients of the Alzheimers Society of Ireland, while the current staff would provide the care.
“The Alzheimers Society of Ireland would take responsibility for ensuring a co-ordinated bed occupancy plan with the aim of ensuring each bed was utilised 365 days of the year to provide respite for Alzheimers patients. The current staff of St. Brigids Hospital would provide the care to these respite patients as this is their area of expertise,” Chairperson of the Action Comittee, Paddy Buggy explained.
“n the 2006 census it was reported that 577 people in Laois alone were diagnosed with dementia. These numbers are likely to have increased in the last six years. These people have nowhere to go for daycare services. We feel that this proposal fits in well with Shaen and we welcome the support of the Alzheimers Society. The hospital caters for people from Dublin City, Kildare, Laois, Offaly, Longford and Westmeath, so the need is there.”
Mr Buggy continued: “Joe Ruane said he liked the proposal but he couldn’t comment on it because he will not be the person making the decision.”
The committe’s proposal would leave 24 public beds as is the case now for long term patient care.
The Action Committee, together with the local community also want to develop the walled in garden at the back of the hospital to make it a sensory garden for all the patients, with the HSE’s permission.
Cllr Kathleen O’Brien backed the proposal at Portlaoise Town Council this week and said the council should write to the Minister for Health James Reilly to support the proposal.
Laois Partnership Company have promised to supply free of charge personnel to draw up the plans for the walled in garden and celebrity gardener Diarmuid Gavin will visit Shaen June 27 to review what can be done to transform the walled in garden.