Shoppers and visitors will enjoy free on street parking in Fermoy this coming June bank holiday weekend, following a successful motion put forward by Cllr Noel McCarthy at a recent meeting of the Fermoy Town Council, writes Susan Caplice. “I am delighted
Fears have grown during the past week concerning the future of St Francis’ Welfare Home in Fermoy with rumours the HSE intend to close the facility over the next twelve months.
Located on Rathealy Road, Fermoy, St. Francis’ Home was built in 1976 with a plan to have 40 patients accommodated there. It is a single storey building providing long-term care for low and medium dependency elderly people.
The facility currently has 23 patients, 12 of whom are from St Patrick’s Hospital that were transferred temporarily while work was being done at the hospital. These patients will return to St Patrick’s in the coming weeks, leaving 11 patients at the welfare home.
CLOSING BY STEALTH
“Traditionally there were 120 patients at St Patrick’s Hospital, which was reduced to 80 as it was felt the patients would be better accommodated at the welfare home. There was a policy then introduced allowing no further patients to be admitted to the welfare home so the HSE were closing it by stealth.”
“Over the past few years the number of patients at the home has dropped from 21 to 11. HIQA did a report a few months ago and one of the recommendations they had was that there would have to be a nurse there 24/7.
"There is a nurse on duty at the moment to facilitate patients from St Patrick’s Hospital being accommodated, but this won’t be the case when they return to the hospital,” Cllr Tadhg O’Donovan told The Avondhu.
Uncertainty a nightmare “The uncertainty of the situation is a nightmare. The HSE won’t confirm or deny that St Francis’ will close in the immediate future. Staff, patients and their families want a statement so that there is no confusion over the future. There is an onus on the HSE to come clean on this,” Cllr O’Donovan concluded.
Cllr Noel McCarthy said that a number of TDs have made representations and they are getting no news back.
“I have big concerns for the home. The welfare of the patients and staff there is what is important and I look forward to the official answer by the HSE.”
Minister Sean Sherlock TD added that he too is concerned about the future of the home: “If there is to be any move of patients or staff from St Francis’ then this has to be done in a manner that is best for the welfare of all concerned. I will be seeking clarification on this from the minister,” he told The Avondhu.
The Avondhu contacted HSE Communications on two occasions for a comment but nothing was forthcoming at the time of going to press.
Thursday 2nd June 6:56pm