Deputy Kelly Hits Out Over Use Of Nenagh’s New Community Nursing Home

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Tipperary TD Alan Kelly has hit out angrily at one of the measures announced by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly yesterday to alleviate overcrowding in University Hospital Limerick.

Deputy  Kelly says the north Tipperary Public won’t tolerate what he calls the disgraceful decision to close Nenagh’s new Community Nursing Home.  

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed yesterday that the new Community Nursing Home in Nenagh is to be operated by a private contractor to provide step down beds for UHL for a period of up to 18 months.

Deputy Kelly sees the measure as a further attack on the community in Nenagh following the 2009 Fianna Fáil Government decision to close the Accident & Emergency Unit in Nenagh hospital.

The Labour party TD says 50 elderly members of the Nenagh area and their families are being discriminated against and left with no option for long term residential care in their locality.

Deputy Kelly is concerned that the CNU will never come back to it’s intended purpose as a long term residential facility.

He also warns the Government that the unions representing  the staff involved –  SIPTU, INMO and FORSA – won’t tolerate the decision as it sets a dangerous precedent by privatising public jobs.

Constituency colleague Deputy Jackie Cahill, is welcoming the new measures to address overcrowding in University Hospital Limerick (UHL). Urgent action is needed to tackle trolley numbers in UHL according to Deputy Cahill.

In addition to the use of the CNU, the Medical Assessment unit at Nenagh is to be extended to a 24/7 operation although no details as to the number of beds and when the change will come into effect were released.

GPs can refer patients to the Medical Assessment Units where care will be provided if clinically appropriate rather than send the patient to the Emergency Department.

Deputy Cahill says he has sought an  assurance that the use of the 50-bed Community Nursing Unit in Nenagh as a step-down facility for UHL will be on a temporary basis, and that once the first 96-bed block is opened in UHL next year, the Community Nursing Unit be returned to the people of Nenagh and the surrounding areas.