Sinn Fein To Raise HSE’s Plans To Use Nenagh CNU To Help UHL Overcrowding

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HSE plans to use the newly built Community Nursing Unit(CNU) in Nenagh for patients in UHL was raised in the Dáil last night by Tipperary TD Martin Bowne.

The TD says the plan to use the building for step down beds for patients in UHL Limerick was being done at the expense of the 23 residents in St Conlan’s, Nenagh, and other people on a waiting list for long term residential care.

Deputy Browne described the plan as yet another example of the elderly being expected to shoulder the burden of a health system that appears to put them last while it struggles with the consequences of the disastrous 2009 reconfiguration of services in the Mid-West.

Minister Mary Butler responding stated that the decision was not made lightly and offered a guarantee that as soon as the 96 bed bloc currently under construction in Limerick is operational the CNU will be restored to it’s intended purpose for long term residents.

The Minister also said that the plan is to be reviewed 12 months after the contract begins – a private operator is being sought via the tender system to run the CNU.

The Dáil also heard that senior management in UHL and the HSE are to meet with the unions involved on May 13th.

A protest march is planned for 2.30pm in Nenagh tomorrow to highlight opposition from the Unions involved and the community for the change in purpose for the building and the rejection of a union proposal that the 23 existing residents move into the new unit immediately with the balance of the 50 ensuite rooms made available for UHL patients.

The march will begin on Church Road outside St Conlans and end at the new CNU adjacent to Nenagh hospital.